Sources told on Sunday, confirming multiple reports, that Jonquel Jones, the 2021 WNBA MVP, is being traded from the Connecticut Sun to the New York Liberty in a three-team deal.
Four-time All-Star Jones specifically requested the trade to New York; She still had one year left on her contract with the Sun, who recently hired Stephanie White as head coach after Curt Miller left for Los Angeles.
A source confirmed that Rebecca Allen and Natasha Howard will be transferred from New York to Connecticut and the Dallas Wings, respectively, as part of the trade. In addition, the Wings will acquire the rights to Crystal Dangerfield of the Liberty and send Kayla Thornton and Ty Harris to New York and Connecticut, respectively.
New York’s No. 2 will also be given to The Sun. 6th pick in the WNBA draft in 2023.
With the 2020 No. 1, the Liberty, one of the original franchises in the league, are a rising contender for the championship. Sabrina Ionescu, the first-round pick, is leading the way. They have also tried in the past to attract Breanna Stewart, who is a two-time Finals MVP and is free this year.
Each of the past two seasons, New York has lost in the first round of the playoffs, both in games with a single elimination. Prior to the 2022 season, the Liberty hired Sandy Brondello, a WNBA champion.
This past season, Jones, a 6-foot-6 forward/center from the Bahamas, helped lead Connecticut to a second WNBA Finals berth in four years by averaging 14.6 points, 8.6 rebounds, and 1.2 blocks per game. Jones was named MVP in 2017, Most Improved Player in 2017, and Sixth Woman of the Year in 2018.
The Sun intend to core Brionna Jones before the league deadline on Friday. Connecticut would not have had the cap space to pay the regular super maximum to unrestricted free agent Brionna Jones going into free agency; But now that Jonquel Jones is leaving, it will be able to give Brionna Jones the core role, which means she can’t sign a contract with another team directly.
Brionna Jones, a 6-foot-3 forward who has been an All-Star twice, won Most Improved in 2021 and Sixth Woman of the Year in 2022, following in the footsteps of Jonquel Jones.
After making the semifinals or better in each of the previous four seasons, The Sun are still looking for their first championship, and these moves appear to be building around Brionna Jones and Alyssa Thomas, who has been a fixture in the franchise for a long time.
With only three free agents, Dallas, which introduced new coach Latricia Trammel this offseason, was not anticipated to have a busy free agency: Marina Mabrey, Teaira McCowan, and Isabelle Harrison. After winning their first playoff game since 2009, when the team was in Tulsa, the Wings are likely to build around Arike Ogunbowale and Satou Sabally.