Sky's Azura Stevens, Diamond DeShields leave WNBA bubble

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Monday, August 31, 2020

Chicago Sky players Azura Stevens and Diamond DeShields have left the WNBA bubble.

Stevens is out for the season with an injury in her left knee. DeShields left for personal reasons.

Stevens was having the best season of her young career, averaging 11.5 points and 5.9 rebounds for the Sky. She missed the team's last two games while dealing with soreness in her left knee. The third-year pro had a season-high 25 points and seven rebounds in her last game, a win over New York on Aug. 20.

The 6-foot-6 UConn grad came to the Sky from Dallas in a trade in February for Katie Lou Samuelson. Stevens was drafted with the sixth pick by the Wings in 2018. After a strong rookie season, she played in only nine games last year for Dallas because of a foot injury.

DeShields was the Sky's leading scorer last season but had been slowed this year while recovering from a knee injury. She played only two minutes in her last game against New York on Aug. 20 before leaving with a right thigh injury. DeShields, who averaged 16.2 points last year, was scoring only 6.8 this season.

Chicago (10-5) is in fifth place and faces Seattle on Saturday. If either player wanted to return, she'd face a quarantine period of up to a week to re-enter the bubble in Bradenton, Florida.

On Friday, the Sky traded Jantel Lavender, who is out for the season after surgery on a broken left foot in June, to the Indiana Fever for Stephanie Mavunga. The Sky also sent their second- and third-round picks in next year's draft to the Fever.

Lavender won the Sixth Woman of the Year award in 2016 and has averaged 8.7 points and 4.8 rebounds in her career.

Mavunga has played in only five games this season, missing the last eight with a facial injury. She averaged five points and four rebounds this season.