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, In response to 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 12 months’s free company interval, which begins January 21, options six former MVPs as unrestricted free brokers. Jones, who received the glory 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 among the finest gamers on the 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 typically surprise if that is actually true.

Jones possesses a novel mixture of measurement, 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 occasions, 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 staff For each WNBA and All-Protection.

Liberty has been on the lookout for 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 will 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 staff hasn’t helped issues. In 200 video games between the common season and the playoffs, she scored 20 factors solely 4 occasions. 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 area, 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 sort out 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 downside is exacerbated after they particularly ask for one staff. Nevertheless, you had been hoping to get greater than this in trade for an MVP candidate if you happen to had been the Solar.

Decide #6 total seems 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 increase her poor spacing if she might discover her 3-point shot once more, however her well being will probably be one thing to observe. She had a concussion final season and in the course of the World Cup final fall she was recognized 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. Possibly that may change with extra taking part in time and a unique staff, however to this point it would not look like a big addition.

With Jonquil Jones gone, the Solar is predicted to concentrate on retaining Breonna Jones’ Sixth Participant of the 12 months title. Per Alexa Filippo, they are going to give Jones the first designation earlier than the deadline to take action on Friday. Breonna Jones remains 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 a option to exchange Jonquel Jones, and the Solar is far 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 probably 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, significantly 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 received Defensive Participant of the 12 months. 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 stand up and down and can give new coach Latricia Trammell loads of flexibility within the squad. On the identical 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 measurement at 5-foot-5, she is aware of how one can run an assault and can maintain the ball shifting with out making too many errors – a particular constructive contemplating a number of the extra offensive gamers the wingers have.

This will probably 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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