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Shock Obtain Pierson From Mercury

June 29, 2005

AUBURN HILLS, Mich. (AP) _ The Phoenix Mercury traded Plenette Pierson to the Detroit Shock on Wednesday for guard Andrea Stinson and a 2006 draft choice.

Pierson, the fourth pick of the 2003 draft, has played center and power forward in her two-plus seasons with Phoenix, but Detroit coach Bill Laimbeer said he plans to convert her to small forward.

``Even back to the 2003 draft, we were looking at her as a 3,″ he said. ``Swin Cash made the transition from the 4 to the 3 in our system, and we’re fully confident that Plenette can do it.″

The Mercury waived Stinson immediately after making the deal, and signed center Maria Stepanova for the remainder of the season.

Pierson averaged 7.7 points and 4.9 rebounds in 12 games for Phoenix this season. She is expected to replace Cash, who hasn’t played this season after tearing her right anterior cruciate ligament last September.

Cash was cleared to resume on-court activities Wednesday, but Laimbeer isn’t sure when she will be able to play.

``This is good news, but there’s still not a definite date,″ he said. ``I’m hoping it will be in July.″

Stinson played the first eight seasons of the WNBA for Charlotte before joining Detroit as a free agent this year. She played nine games for the Shock, averaging 1.4 points in limited action.

Stepanova, drafted by Phoenix in 1998, last played for the team in 2001. She averaged 7.1 points, 4.6 rebounds and 1.5 blocks in 99 games over four seasons for the Mercury, and won a bronze medal with Russia at Athens last year.

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