Sky land No. 8 pick in 2024 WNBA draft in trade with Sparks

The Chicago Sky obtained the No. 8 pick in the upcoming 2024 WNBA draft from the Los Angeles Sparks on Monday in exchange for guard Julie Allemand, the rights to center Li Yueru and a 2025 third-round selection.

Chicago now has the Nos. 3 and 8 picks in the first round, along with the top pick in the second round (No. 13 overall) in the April 15 draft.

"We are continuing to build assets by securing draft capital for the upcoming years," Sky general manager Jeff Pagliocca said. "An additional first-round pick in 2024 will allow us to draft yet another valuable player and add a foundational piece to this roster."

Meanwhile, Los Angeles still has the Nos. 2 and 4 picks in the draft.

The Sparks needed help at point guard, and they can get that with Allemand, 27, a native of Belgium. She played with the Indiana Fever in 2020 and the Sky in 2022, averaging 5.6 points, 4.5 assists, 3.0 rebounds in those two seasons combined.

Allemand, who was obtained by the Sparks in a sign-and-trade, will play with the Belgian national team in the 2024 Olympics, as will Li with the Chinese national team. The 6-foot-7 Li, who turns 25 in March, was drafted into the WNBA in 2019 by the Atlanta Dream. She was then traded to the Sparks, who subsequently traded her to Chicago. She has played just 16 games in the WNBA, all in 2022 with the Sky, and now is back with Los Angeles.

Allemand is expected to play in the WNBA this season, despite her Olympic commitment, but it's still to be determined if Li will play in the league in 2024.

"[Allemand] is a great floor general and helps make everyone on the court better," Sparks coach Curt Miller said. "Li is currently having an outstanding season in Turkey and will play a huge role for the Chinese national team in the upcoming Olympics. Li has great size and will provide a nice post presence for the future."