The Most Popular WNBA Trade in History

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Before we go too deep into the weeds on this one, I don’t begrudge Brittney Griner getting out of Russia. This was always a PR hostage move, Griner didn’t help the situation by violating Russian law regarding controlled substances and giving them the excuse, but this was always about Russia holding her as a bargaining chip with a huge amount of leverage over the American public, especially the base of the current ruling party.

Russia cashed it all in, getting an arms dealer released in exchange for someone with nowhere near the equivalent tactical value. Especially for a nation at war and willing to take advantage of all the backroom shenanigans, as Russia assuredly is, getting an arms dealer back and then rewarding him with work is a win. It’s sweeping the political poker table actually. We, in turn, got back someone too young and naïve to have understood the winfall handed to Russia by breaking their substance laws.

Since the WNBA is not the NBA I do not expect their handlers to be as diligent about screening and informing their players about the politics being played around them but I suspect this incident will increase their diligence with their players traveling.