WNBA Trade: What does the Dream trade for Alex Bentley mean?

On Monday afternoon, a WNBA trade was announced between two teams, the Atlanta Dream and the Connecticut Sun. The Atlanta Dream traded Layshia Clarendon and a 2019 second round pick in exchange for Alex Bentley.

The Atlanta Dream and the Connecticut Sun announced a WNBA trade that shook up both their teams at the midseason point. Alex Bentley and Layshia Clarendon both have new teams. This should be interesting to watch moving forward as Atlanta sits currently in eighth place and the Sun sits in seventh place. Both teams are in the mix for the playoffs but need to play well down the stretch as other teams such as the Aces and the Sky are currently on the outside looking in.

I will now look at the Sun and Dream trade from the Dream's perspective. If you want to read how this trade affects the Sun side, you can check out fellow writer Tiffany Davis' piece here.

The Atlanta Dream are currently 9-9 and could be better as they have an elite defense. But the problem for the Dream halfway through the season is their offense. They often have a hard time scoring the ball and in many of my schedule previews and reviews, I have noted that the Dream's offense needs a lift. They also don't shoot the ball well. This is where Alex Bentley will help the Dream. It's no question that she will remain a backup guard as both Renee Montgomery and Tiffany Hayes have solidified themselves as starting guards.

Layshia Clarendon as a backup point guard, is currently averaging career low numbers across the board. Her minutes have been greatly reduced as Renee Montgomery has taken over the starting point guard role. That could have played a part in why the Dream decided to pull the trigger on trading her for Alex Bentley.

The Dream will miss Clarendon as she was a great teammate and really started to blossom in Atlanta but if the Dream wanted to make the playoffs in a very competitive season, they needed to make a change.

Alex Bentley returns to Atlanta after previously playing in Atlanta in her rookie season. After she was traded to Connecticut, her game got better and she was even named a WNBA All-Star in 2015. Alex Bentley is known for her scoring prowess and that is what the Dream will be looking from her.

This season in Connecticut, Alex Bentley was averaging just 10.0 points per game while shooting just under 40% FG. Although she shot just 30% from three, it's a marked improvement from Clarendon who was shooting around 18% from three. Bentley was doing this by playing on average just 21.7 minutes per game.

By inserting Alex Bentley into the role that Clarendon was previously in, Bentley's ability to score the ball will greatly help lead the Dream offense off the bench. Her shooting and her ability to hit the three should help space the offense so that Angel McCoughtry and Tiffany Hayes have more driving lanes to attack the basket.

Alex Bentley's defense has gotten better over the years but she will still need to prove herself as Coach Nicki Collen has experience in dealing with Bentley and will take Bentley out of the game if her defense is not up to par.

Alex Bentley will most likely not get big minutes right away and she will most likely be coming off the bench as she did in Connecticut. It will take a few games for Bentley and the team to adjust, so there will be a learning period. The Dream may struggle but eventually will figure it out.

It's hard to grade a trade when both the teams have yet to integrate their new players, but by a glance, I would grade this trade for the Dream a B. We shall see how this plays out for the Dream when they return to action this week.

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