- The Washington Times - Wednesday, February 1, 2012

The Mystics traded popular forward Marissa Coleman to the Los Angeles Sparks for guard Noelle Quinn on Wednesday.

“We are excited to have Noelle join the Mystics, as we look forward to the upcoming 2012 season,” said Trudi Lacey, Mystics coach and general manager.

“She is an experienced combo guard that brings a high basketball IQ and plays multiple positions.”

Quinn spent the past three seasons with the Sparks, helping lead the team to the playoffs in 2009 and 2010. She had career highs in points (10.2), rebounds (4.0), starts (34) and minutes played (32.5) in 2010, but didn’t enjoy as much success in 2011, averaging 5.1 points, 2.0 assists and 1.8 rebounds in 20.6 minutes per game, starting 23 times.

Before joining the Sparks, Quinn played two seasons with the Minnesota Lynx, who drafted her in the first with the fourth overall pick in the 2007 WNBA Draft out of UCLA.

“I am extremely excited to join the Mystics family,” Quinn said in a released statement.

“The level of professionalism is very apparent, as [Mystics owner] Dr. [Sheila] Johnson is highly committed to bringing nothing but success to the Mystics organization. D.C. is such a historical city with fans who both love basketball and are very supportive.

“I will bring a positive attitude, great work ethic, and experience to the team. I am so grateful for this opportunity and in doing so am willing to do whatever it takes to ensure our success.”

In saying goodbye to Coleman, the Mystics lose perhaps their most popular player, a former Maryland Terrapins star.

The Mystics drafted Coleman with the second overall pick in 2009, and in three seasons, Coleman averaged 7.1 points per game and 4.8 rebounds.

“We want to thank Marissa for her contribution on and off the court and wish her the best,” Lacey said.

Trading Coleman could be the first in a series of moves designed to improve the struggling Mystics, who finished 6-28 last season, the second worst record in the league, ahead of the 3-31 Tulsa Shock.