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Jonquel Jones commits to New York Liberty return

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Courtney Vandersloot, Breanna Stewart and Jonquel Jones have continued to step up for the Liberty in the second half of the season. (Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

Jonquel Jones intends to return to the New York Liberty, her agent told ESPN on Tuesday.

The 2021 WNBA MVP was a key piece in the Liberty’s WNBA Finals run last season, which was the team’s first appearance in the Finals since 2002.

Jones was an offseason acquisition by the Liberty last year, having been traded from the Connecticut Sun at her request. She had one year left on her contract at the time, which made her an unrestricted free agent in this offseason.

During exit interviews, Jones wasn’t ready to commit to returning to the Liberty, but noted that she was “definitely trending towards coming back here.”

Jones, according to Liberty general manager Jonathan Kolb, was “arguably our best player, just in terms of consistency” in the postseason. He had stressed that the team “definitely” wanted to try and keep Jones in the wake of her free agency.

Last season, Jones averaged 11.3 points, 8.4 rebounds and 1.3 blocks per game in the regular season. She became even more instrumental in the playoffs, averaging 16.8 points, 11.6 rebounds and 2.4 blocks per game. She was also named MVP of the Commissioner’s Cup championship last season.

The Liberty also had 2023 WNBA MVP Breanna Stewart as a free agent this offseason, but she was cored by the franchise last week.