Update 5:38 p.m. It appears the deal is happening.
Can report basic structure of Jonquel Jones being discussed involves NY, CON and DAL. Multiple sources tell @TheNextHoops deal as constructed (not finalized) is as follows:— Howard Megdal (@howardmegdal) January 15, 2023
NY: JJ and K. Thornton
DAL: N. Howard and C. Dangerfield
CON: #6 pick, Bec Allen, Ty Harris #WNBA
The New York Liberty and owner Joe Tsai have said they’re going to be aggressive in building a contender around No. 1 overall draft pick Sabrina Ionescu. And if a report from Rachel Galligan of Winsider is correct, it could be sooner rather than later. The Connecticut Sun’s Jonquel Jones, the 2021 WNBA MVP, could be on the trading block in the prime of her career.
Sources have informed @Winsidr that a three team trade is in the works and close to being finalized that would send 2021 MVP Jonquel Jones to the New York Liberty.— Rachel Galligan (@RachGall) January 15, 2023
This would be a blockbuster move, especially with WNBA free agency looming beginning on Saturday, January 21. It’s almost assumed that the Seattle Storm’s Breanna Stewart will be heading back to her native New York to play in Brooklyn, and adding Jones makes them the favorite in the East by a considerable margin.
Jones averaged 19.4 points and 11.2 rebounds for the Sun in her MVP season. Last year she had 14.6 and 8.6 boards per game as the Sun reached the WNBA Finals, falling to the Las Vegas Aces in four games. At age 29, she could be the cornerstone of a title winning team for quite some time.
Stewart is the biggest prize in free agency, and the four-time NCAA and two-time WNBA and Olympic champion averaged 21.8 points and 7.6 rebounds in 2022 before losing in five games to the Aces in the semifinals. Adding two pieces of this stature to Ionescu should make for a compelling team in America’s largest media market, which has to make league commissioner Cathy Engelbert happy.
We’ll see what the details of the trade are if it happens, but there probably isn’t a price the Liberty wouldn’t pay to put together a triumvirate this strong.