New York is trading 2021 MVP Jonquil Jones in a three-way deal

Written by Doug Fienberg – AP basketball author

NEW YORK (AP) — The New York Liberty traded for Jonquil Jones, including a hunk to their championship hopes.

Liberty captured the 2021 MVP award as a part of a three-team cope with the Connecticut Solar and Dallas Wings, the groups introduced Monday.

Connecticut completed sixth within the draft, together with Rebecca Allen from New York and Tiasha Harris from Dallas. The Wings received Natasha Howard and Crystal Dangerfield from Liberty. Kayla Thornton can also be headed to New York.

“Including Jonquil and Kayla to our roster early of their careers was an unmissable alternative to strengthen our frontcourt on each ends of the ground,” mentioned Liberty GM Jonathan Kolb. He possesses a uncommon mixture of defensive physique and offensive spacing. We won’t wait to welcome them to the Liberty household and work in direction of pursuing their Championship objectives.”

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Jones has one yr left on her contract with The Solar. The 6-foot-6 All-Star averaged 14.6 factors, 8.6 rebounds and 1.2 blocks final season to assist Connecticut attain the WNBA Finals for the second time in 4 seasons.

Jones mentioned, “To say I am excited can be a large understatement!” To the followers, my future teammates, and everybody who welcomed me to New York, thanks! I can not wait to begin this season and present up within the Massive Apple!! “

The 29-year-old Jones, who’s from the Bahamas, will reinforce a younger New York crew led by Sabrina Ionescu and Betnya Lani, who’ve misplaced within the first spherical of the playoffs the previous two years. She was sixth general within the 2016 draft and was the league’s Most Worthwhile Participant in 2017. The next season she was named Sixth Lady of the Yr earlier than being named MVP three years later.

“Jonquel has been an integral a part of the Connecticut Solar’s progress over the previous seven years, and we actually recognize every part you have delivered to this franchise,” mentioned Connecticut Normal Supervisor Darius Taylor. “In the long run, JJ’s commerce was a call that each events determined was greatest.”

Allen performed her seven-year profession in New York. The 30-year-old Australian debuted within the WNBA in 2015. She was the tallest participant on the Liberty Listing.

“Beck has had an enduring influence on the Liberty group all through her seven years right here,” mentioned Kolb. “She’s been with this franchise via the ups and downs, strikes and turnarounds, but her professionalism and energy haven’t wavered. We want her the easiest in her subsequent season with Connecticut as she is going to undoubtedly thrive in an expanded position.”

Howard performed two seasons in New York after Liberty traded to her in 2021. She averaged 15.1 factors and seven.3 rebounds final season.

“Natasha is a three-time WNBA champion and joins the Wings group with a formidable WNBA resume, together with in depth and profitable playoff expertise,” mentioned Wings President and CEO Greg Bibb. “On the sphere, we add a participant of All-Star caliber who is among the greatest defenders within the recreation. Off the sphere, we add a veteran participant who has received on the largest stage within the greatest moments. You possibly can hardly ever meet as many wants in a single transaction as we will with the addition of Natasha. We’re excited to have her on board.” to our group.

Dangerfield, who was the 2020 Freshman of the Yr for Minnesota, will play on her fifth totally different crew. She averaged 5.4 factors and a couple of.5 assists for New York final season, beginning 27 of the 30 video games she performed in.

Thornton averaged 8.0 factors and 5.9 rebounds for Dallas final season whereas beginning 35 of 36 video games.

Harris averaged 5.2 factors for Dallas over her three-year profession. Began 11 video games since being drafted seventh in 2020.

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