Lynx send Houston, pick to Mercury for 18th pick

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MINNEAPOLIS (AP) -- The Minnesota Lynx made a sign-and-trade move with the Phoenix Mercury on Tuesday, sending forward Charde (shar-DAY) Houston and the 24th overall draft pick in the 2012 WNBA draft to Phoenix for the 18th pick.

The defending champions signed the four-year veteran Houston to a contract before trading her to Phoenix. Houston was an All-Star in 2009 when she averaged 13.1 points and 5.5 rebounds. But her role was reduced dramatically last season, when she played just 7.8 minutes per game.

Houston was searching for more playing time, so executive vice president Roger Griffith made the trade.

The Lynx now have three selections in a row in the third round of April's draft with picks 18 through 20.