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Jonquel Jones addresses Liberty trade, ‘next chapter’ in career

Reigning WNBA MVP Jonquel Jones has elevated her play in the Sun's last three games. (Barry Gossage/NBAE via Getty Images)

Jonquel Jones thanked the Connecticut Sun and their fan base in a tweet Monday, after the three-team trade sending her to the New York Liberty was officially announced.

Since Connecticut traded for her rights on draft night in 2016, Jones had spent her entire career with the Sun. She led the team to two WNBA Finals appearances in 2019 and 2022 while winning the 2021 WNBA MVP award and being named to four All-Star teams.

Jones, who had one year left on her contract with the Sun, acknowledged the reports that she requested the trade to the Liberty after meeting with multiple teams.

“I have done amazing things in my career, all while proudly wearing Connecticut across my chest. Now, like all things, our journey together must come to an end,” she wrote.

“After careful thought and consideration I have decided to move on and begin the next chapter of my W career.”

As part of the trade, Connecticut received New York’s No. 6 pick in the 2023 WNBA Draft, veteran guard Rebecca Allen and fourth-year guard Tyasha Harris. The Dallas Wings received three-time WNBA champion Natasha Howard and the contract rights to guard Crystal Dangerfield, while the Liberty also picked up forward Kayla Thornton from the Wings.

Jones led the Sun in 2022 with 14.6 points, 8.6 rebounds and 1.2 blocks per game. The 6-foot-6 forward had spent her entire tenure in Connecticut playing for coach Curt Miller, who left in October to become the head coach of the Los Angeles Sparks. The Sun hired Stephanie White to replace him.

In New York, Jones joins a promising contender led by WNBA champion head coach Sandy Brondello and former No. 1 draft pick Sabrina Ionescu. Free agent and New York native Breanna Stewart has also been linked to the Liberty after she met with the team last offseason. Players can officially begin negotiating with teams on Jan. 21.

The Sun weren’t done this week, trading veteran guard Jasmine Thomas and the No. 10 pick in the 2023 draft to the Sparks on Monday in exchange for Olivia Nelson-Ododa, Jasmine Walker and the contract rights to Kianna Smith. In L.A., Thomas will reunite with Miller, while Jones embarks on a fresh start with the Liberty.

“Please know that Connecticut will always have a special place in my heart and that I am forever grateful for my time as a member of such a great organization,” Jones concluded her post.