WNBA Trade Scores: Liberty wins big with acquisition of Jonquel Jones in three-team deal with Sun and Wings

The WNBA offseason got here alive Sunday with a large three-team commerce that noticed the New York Liberty purchase former MVP Jonquel Jones from the Connecticut Solar. Jones, who helped The Solar attain the finals final season, has ordered out early within the winter and has named Liberty as her favourite vacation spot, Based on Rachel Galligan.

Along with Jones, Liberty additionally acquired veteran wing Kayla Thornton from the Dallas Wings. The Solar acquired Rebecca Allen and sixth-ranked Liberty and level guard Tyasha Harris from the Wings. As for the suites, they’ve added Natasha Howard and Crystal Dangerfield from Liberty. Howard Migdal reported it for the primary time Full particulars of the commerce.

This yr’s free company interval, which begins January 21, options six former MVPs as unrestricted free brokers. Jones, who gained the dignity in 2021, preempted all of them by making her transfer first. In doing so, it radically modified the league’s energy construction and the current and way forward for three golf equipment.

Let’s arrange a commerce.

Obtain freedom

  • Jonquil Jones (by way of The Solar)
  • Kayla Thornton (by way of Wings)

Liberty is the most important winner right here as a result of they add not solely the MVP within the deal however top-of-the-line gamers on this planet. A’ja Wilson and Breanna Stewart are the one guys who declare to be higher, however when that is the case for Jones, you generally surprise if that is actually true.

Jones possesses a singular mixture of dimension, athleticism, and talent at each ends of the ground; She is a uncommon participant who can do all of it. Even in a 2022 season the place her offensive involvement with the Solar was oddly restricted at instances, she nonetheless put up 14.6 factors, 8.6 rebounds and a couple of.3 steals (steals plus blocks) per recreation on 51.3/36.9/80.2 capturing splits and made the second crew For each WNBA and All-Protection.

Liberty has been in search of a dependable, high-profile massive character for a couple of seasons now, and Jones will do greater than fill the position. In the event that they did not do one thing else with this transfer, it might have been an enormous coup. Because it was, additionally they added Thornton and created extra space within the course of.

Thornton’s recreation ensures she will not stand out, and spending most of her profession on a really mediocre Wings crew hasn’t helped issues. In 200 video games between the common season and the playoffs, she scored 20 factors solely 4 instances. However whereas Thornton’s numbers do not present, their impression does. She is a tenacious defender in a number of positions and routinely delivers wins.

Moreover, since Jones took a slight deduction to re-sign with the Solar, she really makes much less cash than Howard, whereas Thornton makes lower than Allen. With Dangerfield cash additionally not within the books, Liberty has over $300,000 in cap house, greater than sufficient to signal a max free agent (Breanna Stewart, maybe?).

Jones’ request to play in New York Metropolis clearly helped, however Liberty crushed the commerce.

Grade: A+

receiving the solar

  • No. 6 total choose within the 2023 draft (by way of Liberty)
  • Rebecca Allen (by way of Liberty)
  • Tiasha Harris (by way of Wings)

The Solar returned to the Finals final season, however they did not have sufficient offensive firepower to deal with the Las Vegas Aces, and fell in 4 video games. A month later, longtime head coach Kurt Miller left to take a job with the Los Angeles Sparks. Now, Jones is out and the Solar basketball period is formally over.

You’ll by no means get a good return when a participant of Jones’ caliber asks you, and that drawback is exacerbated after they particularly ask for one crew. Nevertheless, you have been hoping to get greater than this in alternate for an MVP candidate in the event you have been the Solar.

Choose #6 total appears good, however this is not a very deep draft. Barring an sudden twist, they won’t add a franchise-altering participant in that slot. Allen is a strong wing and would actually enhance her poor spacing if she might discover her 3-point shot once more, however her well being shall be one thing to observe. She had a concussion final season and in the course of the World Cup final fall she was identified with a number of damaged ribs and {a partially} collapsed lung. As for Harris, she’s going to enhance the depth of her level base however has been reckless throughout her first three seasons within the league. Perhaps that may change with extra enjoying time and a distinct crew, however thus far it would not seem to be a big addition.

With Jonquil Jones gone, the Solar is predicted to deal with retaining Breonna Jones’ Sixth Participant of the Yr title. Per Alexa Filippo, they are going to give Jones the first designation earlier than the deadline to take action on Friday. Breonna Jones continues to be underrated even after two All-Star appearances, and having her alongside Alyssa Thomas and Dewana Bonner will make sure the Solar stays within the competitors.

Nevertheless, there isn’t any method to exchange Jonquel Jones, and the Solar is way worse than it was earlier than this commerce.

Grade: D-

Wings obtain

  • Natasha Howard (by way of Liberty)
  • Crystal Dangerfield (by way of Liberty)

Maybe essentially the most attention-grabbing subplot on this commerce is The Wings, which jumped in to assist easy the deal and ended up swapping Thornton and Harris for Howard and Dangerfield. From a pure expertise perspective, that is an improve for Wings, nevertheless it does result in some roster constructing questions, notably within the frontcourt.

Howard, largely as a result of accidents, by no means recovered the shape she confirmed in 2019 when she made the All-WNBA First Staff and gained Defensive Participant of the Yr. She had a powerful 2022, nonetheless, making her second profession All-Star look whereas posting 15.1 factors, 7.3 rebounds and a couple of.3 arrows per recreation.

She is a superb athlete who can rise up and down and can give new coach Latricia Trammell loads of flexibility within the squad. On the similar time, determining one of the best ways to pair it with Satu Sabali, Oak Queer, Isabel Harrison, and Tera Makowan is an actual problem. (It stays to be seen if each Harrison and McCown will return, as they’re unrestricted and restricted free brokers, respectively.)

In the meantime, Dangerfield is a extra dependable backup guard than Harris. Regardless of her small dimension at 5-foot-5, she is aware of the best way to run an assault and can maintain the ball transferring with out making too many errors – a particular optimistic contemplating among the extra offensive gamers the wingers have.

This shall be a busy occasion for the Wings, who’ve some massive selections to make, not simply as regards to free brokers like Harrison, McCowan and Marina Mabrey, however with disgruntled participant Alisha Grey, who’s reportedly on the commerce block. . The selections they make there’ll assist decide the success of this commerce, however regardless it is a useful swing in selling massive expertise.

Grade: B+

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