The Chicago Sky paid a hefty price in their blockbuster trade for Marina Mabrey, but coach and general manager James Wade defended the deal.

The 26-year-old guard came to Chicago from the Dallas Wings as part of a four-team trade, which saw the Sky give up a 2023 first-round draft pick and a 2024 first-round draft pick, plus three more draft picks. But Wade would rather have a player he knows rather than question marks, even despite stacked upcoming draft classes.

“I know what she does, and I know what she brings to the table,” Wade said of Mabrey. “So that’s who we’re going to rock with. I understand that the ’23 and ’24 draft picks can be great players.”

Still, he expressed confidence in the construction of his roster, for the 2023 season and beyond.

“I’m not f—ing planning on losing,” he told reporters Wednesday.

Mabrey averaged 12.8 points and 3.7 rebounds per game through three seasons in Dallas. She averaged 13.6 points per game last season, a career high.

The former Notre Dame star joins a lineup headlined by 2021 WNBA Finals MVP Kahleah Copper. Her addition helps offset the losses of Allie Quigley, Courtney Vandersloot, Emma Meesseman and Candace Parker.

The Sky also brought in guard Courtney Williams from the Connecticut Sun via free agency and re-signed guard Rebekah Gardner.

While Wade questioned the crowning of the Las Vegas Aces and New York Liberty as superteams after their offseason moves, he also placed value in such moves over “draft capital” as a draw for players.

“I know what Marina brings, and I know that our players and other great players want to play with her,” Wade said. “I don’t know how much more they will want to play with draft pick ’23 or draft pick ’24. So you’ve got to weigh those things… That’s the risk that we were willing to take to get a great ball handler.”

Amid Mabrey and other new faces, Copper will be the longest-tenured player on the roster. As such, she joked about working as the “assistant GM” for the Sky this offseason, and Wade agreed: “She really was.”

Conversations with Copper “affected a lot of our decisions on what kind of team we’re trying to put around her,” Wade said.

The Chicago Sky are playing the short game, and not necessarily the long game, when it comes to their trades.

Head coach and general manager James Wade has drawn criticism over his team’s recent trade, which involved trading away two first round draft picks – one in 2023 and one in 2024. Dallas also reserves the right to swap first round picks with Chicago in 2025.

While the 2023 class is loaded, the 2024 class is at times being described as the best the league has seen in years. It’s a class that includes draft-eligible players like Caitlin Clark, Paige Bueckers, Cameron Brink and Angel Reese.

There’s also potential depth to consider, as the Sky also traded away a second rounder in 2025 and a second and third rounder in 2024. In effect, most of their draft stock is now gone with six picks having been traded away.

Of course, Wade could always get some of that back. But it could require parting with big name players once again.

But the team appears to be focusing on the now. Mabrey averaged 12.8 points and 3.7 rebounds per game through three seasons in Dallas and averaged 13.6 points per game last season – a career high.

The Wings bounced back after falling to the Sky on Wednesday, defeating Chicago 100-91 Friday night.

Marina Mabrey led Dallas in scoring, tying her career-high with 28 points. The Wings guard shot an impressive 60 percent from the field and drained five from beyond the arc, including two four-point plays.

Six Wings players dropped double digits Friday night, including Arike Ogunbowale, who put up 18 points, and Allisha Gray, who notched 17 points.

Next up: Dallas will travel to New York to take on the Liberty on Monday. The Sky will head home to host the Mystics on July 10.

The Dallas Wings bounced back after falling to Minnesota on Thursday, putting up a record-breaking performance to defeat the Lynx 95-77 on Saturday.

Marina Mabrey led the charge for the Wings, recording a career-high 28 points, while shootings 69.2 percent from the field. As a team, Dallas hit a franchise-record 17 three-pointers Saturday night, with Mabrey contributing five from deep.

Arike Ogunbowale had a historic night as well, netting 16 points and shooting four for five from beyond the arc. Saturday marked Ogunbowale’s 50th straight game scoring in the double-digits, becoming only the ninth player in WNBA history to do so.

Napheesa Collier and Crystal Dangerfield each scored 17 points for the Lynx, with Kayla McBride adding 13 points to the tally. Minnesota, however, was outshot and outrebounded by Dallas, with the Wings collecting 31 defensive boards.

The Lynx will attempt to shake off the loss when they head out on the road on Wednesday to face Atlanta. Dallas will hope to keep up momentum when they head to Connecticut to take on the Sun on Tuesday.