NEW YORK -- WNBA star Cappie Pondexter is headed to the New York Liberty as part of a major three-team trade.
The league champion Mercury have a deal in place to send All-Star guard to New York for Shameka Christon and Cathrine Kraayeveld, according to a person familiar with the trade. Christon and Kraayeveld will be shipped to Chicago for All-Star Candice Dupree.
The person told The Associated Press on Monday night on condition of anonymity because the trade hadn't been announced.
The Liberty, who didn't make the playoffs last season, a year after advancing to the Eastern Conference finals, also will get Kelly Mazzante from Phoenix as part of the deal.
Pondexter averaged 19.1 points last season for the Mercury, who won their second title in three years. The 27-year-old guard, who was the second pick in the 2006 WNBA draft by Phoenix, will be reunited with 2008 Olympic basketball coach Anne Donovan and former Rutgers teammates Essence Carson and Kia Vaughn.
Pondexter, who was playing overseas this winter for UMMC Ekaterinburg in Russia, helped the U.S. win its fourth straight gold medal at the Beijing Olympics. She was one of the first eight players announced as part of the U.S. national team pool for the World Championships this fall.
The 25-year-old Dupree averaged 15.7 points last season for the Sky, who just missed out on making the playoffs.
Christon led New York in scoring last season, averaging 16.1 points and was recently added to the USA basketball national team pool. Kraayeveld averaged 9.0 points last year and was one of the team's best 3-point shooters. Both had spent their entire careers with the Liberty as Christon was drafted in 2004 out of Arkansas and Kraayeveld from Oregon in 2005.
New York opens the regular season against Chicago on May 16. The Liberty are at Phoenix on July 3, and host the Mercury on August 14.