Boardroom takes a closer look at the three-team Jonquel Jones trade that sends the former WNBA MVP from Connecticut to NYC.
Just four months ago, the Connecticut Sun were fighting it out with A’ja Wilson and the Las Vegas Aces in a WNBA Finals series that guaranteed hoop fans a first-time champion. Leading the line once again was leading scorer, defensive dynamo, four-time All-Star, and 2021 league MVP Jonquel Jones — and all the while, the New York Liberty watched from home, having been eliminated in the first round of the playoffs following a 16-20 regular season.
Though the Aces ultimately bested the Sun in four games to hoist the trophy, Jones’ performance surely stuck with Liberty coach Sandy Brondello and GM Jonathan Kolb as they tried to determine the distance between their 2022 roster and Win Now Mode.
On Monday, they made their swoop. Jones — who reportedly requested a move specifically to New York — now joins up with Sabrina Ionescu in hopes of bringing a first-ever championship banner to the Barclays Center.
Let’s take a closer look at the terms of the three-team Jonquel Jones trade, which also includes the Dallas Wings receiving Liberty All-Star forward Natasha Howard and Connecticut receiving this year’s No. 6 overall pick in the WNBA Draft.
Liberty-Sun-Wings Jonquel Jones Trade Details
NEW YORK LIBERTY GET:
- F Jonquel Jones
- F Kayla Thornton
A veteran forward out of UTEP, Kayla Thornton made her WNBA debut with Washington before spending the last six seasons in Dallas. She’s played in 194 regular season games and six in the postseason, averaging 8.7 points and 4.9 rebounds for her career.
CONNECTICUT SUN GET:
- G Rebecca Allen
- G Tyasha Harris
- 2023 1st-round pick (No. 6 overall)
Rebecca Allen arrives in Uncasville after seven seasons in New York. She started 19 games last season and averaged 7.0 points and 3.4 boards.
Ty Harris was Dallas’s No. 7 overall pick in the 2020 WNBA Draft following a college career at South Carolina that included the 2016-17 national championship. She made 38 appearances between the regular season and postseason in 2022, most frequently off the bench.
DALLAS WINGS GET:
- F Natasha Howard
- G Crystal Dangerfield
Natasha Howard, a former WNBA Defensive Player of the Year, made her second All-Star team in 2022.
Former UConn Huskies guard Crystal Dangerfield arrives in Dallas after starting 27 games for the Liberty in 2022. Her best season remains her 2020 rookie campaign in Minnesota in which she averaged 16.2 points on 47% shooting from the field.
Jonquel Jones Contract & Salary Breakdown
All salary data via Spotrac.
Total value: $416,150
Average annual value: $208,075
Free agency: 2024
Estimated 2023 salary: $211,150
The 6-foot-6 Jones signed her current two-year contract with the Sun in January of 2022, and while she is due to come off the books ahead of her age-30 season in 2024, there’s no reason to believe the Liberty were pulling the trigger here without an extension in mind.
As things currently stand, Jones’ estimated 2023 salary ranks No. 8 among WNBA players, while her average annual contract value ranks 13th — notably, that gives New York the opportunity to chase one more max-level signing ahead of the new season, with rumors swirling around the league about a possible pursuit of Seattle Storm free agent superstar Breanna Stewart.
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