Sun

Retaining Jones Reloads Sun for 2022

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Reigning league MVP Jonquel Jones will reportedly finalize a multi-year deal to remain the Connecticut Sun’s franchise cornerstone.

Drafted to Connecticut in 2016, Jones’ emergence as an elite scorer, rebounder and defender guided the Sun to a first-place 26-6 finish last season. Even despite the notable absence of fellow superstar Alyssa Thomas (Achilles tear).

Jones looked every bit the franchise superstar she was drafted to be last year after sitting out in 2020. The 6’6″ forward led the league in total win shares, win shares per 40 minutes and rebounding (11.2 per game). Jones also set career highs in virtually every statistical category and ranked fourth in per-game scoring (19.4). At age 28, Jones’ career-defining season earned First-Team All-WNBA and All-Defense selections — as well as a near-unanimous MVP award (48 of 49 votes).

Jones’ multi-year agreement signals a commitment from the team’s general manager and head coach Curt Miller. That’s to establish one of the league’s premier two-way players as the face of a perennial playoff team. With Jones safely in the fold, the Sun now seek the return of a fully-healthy Thomas to round out one of the league’s most talented starting lineups.

Connecticut is enjoying a five-year streak of postseason appearances on the merits of stingy team defense and a handful of the league’s best shooters. Though full ascension to the WNBA’s championship crown continues to elude them. Locking in Jones would mean securing an all-world talent alongside a supporting cast responsible for 2021’s regular-season dominance.

Other key contributors include Natisha Hiedeman and newly-minted All-Star Courtney Williams — Williams finalizing a deal with Connecticut after a two-year stint in Atlanta, prior to which she notably served as a capable starter during the Sun’s 2019 finals run.

Connecticut is financially all-in on this particular iteration of the team for the foreseeable future. Jones, Thomas, veteran hybrid-guard DeWanna Bonner and Connecticut mainstay Jasmine Thomas are all signed to big-money contracts.

Jones’ ability to repeat a spectacular MVP campaign makes the Sun an intriguing pick to win it all in 2022.

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