The New York Liberty are on the verge of blockbuster trade.
The franchise is reportedly adding 2021 WNBA MVP and four-time All-Star Jonquel Jones, who specifically requested a move to the Liberty, via a three-team deal. Jones guided the Connecticut Sun to a WNBA Finals appearance last season, losing to the Las Vegas Aces in four games. Rachel Galligan of Winsidr first reported the potential trade involving the 6-foot-6 big on Sunday.
The trade includes the Liberty adding combo forward Kayla Thornton from the Dallas Wings, where she’d been a starter since 2018, according to Howard Megdal of The Next Hoops. The Liberty will reportedly send the No. 6 overall pick and shooting guard Rebecca Allen to the Sun. Natasha Howard, an All-Star for the Liberty in 2022, and starting point guard Crystal Dangerfield will both head from to Dallas as part of the deal.
The move gives the Liberty a huge star talent ahead of April’s draft. Jones, who just turned 29 earlier this month, is on a five-year stretch averaging 15.0 points and 9.3 rebounds while shooting 51 percent from the field and 38 percent from 3-point ranger since being first named an All-Star in 2017. The stretch doesn’t include the abbreviated 2020 season because Jones opted out.
WNBA free agency begins on Jan. 21, with official signings tipping off on Feb. 1. This off-season.
The Liberty have been linked to another former league MVP and New York native Breanna Stewart, who is set to hit free agency. The two sides reportedly met prior to the 2022 season. Stewart was a four-time All-Star and two time WNBA champion with the Seattle Storm.
The Liberty were eliminated by the Chicago Sky in the first round of last year’s playoffs, their second consecutive trip to the post season after a three-year absence from 2018-2020.
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