Sun trading 2021 MVP Jones to Liberty in 3-team blockbuster
The Connecticut Sun are trading Jonquel Jones, the 2021 WNBA MVP, to the New York Liberty, the team announced Monday.
The Dallas Wings are also part of a three-team deal. The Liberty will receive Jones and Kayla Thornton; the Sun will add Rebecca Allen, Tyasha Harris, and New York's sixth overall pick in the 2023 draft; Dallas will acquire two-time All-Star Natasha Howard and the rights to Crystal Dangerfield.
Jones made a specific request to be traded to New York, according to ESPN's Alexa Philippou.
"Adding Jonquel and Kayla to our roster in the prime of their careers was a can't-miss opportunity to bolster our frontcourt on both ends of the floor," said Liberty general manager Jonathan Kolb in a statement.
"JJ brings an established MVP skill set, and Kayla possesses a rare combination of defensive physicality and offensive spacing. We can't wait to welcome them to the Liberty family and get to work on pursuing our championship goals."
Jones averaged 14.6 points, 8.6 rebounds, and 1.8 assists and shot 36.9% from deep in 33 games last season. She was pivotal in Connecticut's run to the Finals, where it fell to the Las Vegas Aces in four games.
The four-time All-Star had a career year the season prior, registering a double-double of 19.4 points and 11.2 rebounds in 27 games to go with 2.8 assists, 1.3 steals, and 1.3 blocks, earning her the league's top individual prize for the first time. The Sun finished a league-best 26-6 that season but were eliminated in the playoff semifinals by the eventual champion Chicago Sky.