Jones reportedly traded to the Liberty

 Bahamian women’s professional basketball player Jonquel ‘JJ’ Jones.

After losing Curt Miller who led them to finals appearances in the Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA) in 2019, and again last season in 2022, one got the feeling that the Connecticut Sun might undergo some major changes ahead of the upcoming season.

Now, it is being reported by ESPN that Jonquel ‘JJ’ Jones is on the move to the New York Liberty in a three-team trade that was expected to be finalized Sunday night. Up to press time, the proposed trade had still not been made official.

Jones, the only Bahamian to ever win a most valuable player award for a major sports organization, is one of the most accomplished and revered athletes in Bahamian history.

After an absolute dominant season in 2021, Jones received 48 of 49 first-place votes for the WNBA Most Valuable Payer (MVP) Award, finishing one vote shy of winning the award unanimously. She led the Sun to the league’s best win/loss record at 26-6, including a 15-1 home record at the Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Connecticut. That year, Jones averaged a double-double at 19.4 points – fourth-best in the league – and a league-best 11.2 rebounds per game. She shot 51.5 percent from the field.

Her MVP year was her fourth straight season averaging double figures in scoring for the Sun, and her rebounding average that year was second most to the 11.9 she had during a record year in 2017 when she became the only player in league history to pull down more than 400 rebounds in a season.

Jones, a four-time WNBA All-Star, apparently requested the trade, specifically to New York. She had one more year on her contract with the Sun, who recently brought in a new head coach in Stephanie White to replace Miller who left to coach the Los Angeles Sparks. Jones and Miller were close, and Miller was her head coach in each of her six years with Connecticut.

As part of the trade, a source confirmed, Rebecca Allen and Natasha Howard will be sent from New York to Connecticut and the Dallas Wings, respectively. The Wings will also receive the rights to Crystal Dangerfield of the Liberty, and will send Kayla Thornton to New York as well as Ty Harris to Connecticut.

The Sun will also receive New York’s number six pick in the 2023 WNBA Draft, according to reports.

Jones, who hails from Holmes Rock, Grand Bahama, is now set to join 2020 No. 1 overall pick Sabrina Ionescu with the Liberty – one of the league’s original franchises. After falling in the first round of the playoffs in each of the last two seasons, with the proposed trade, the Liberty could now be regarded as the newest championship contender in the league.

A year after turning in arguably the greatest season by a Bahamian athlete in history, Jones took a step back in 2022. She averaged 14.6 points on 51.3 percent shooting from the field while adding 8.6 rebounds and 1.2 blocks per game, and finished seventh in the MVP voting. However, she did manage to lead the Sun to a second WNBA Finals berth in four years where they lost to the Las Vegas Aces three games to one.

Jones played in the playoffs in five of her six years with the Sun, only missing her rookie season in 2016. She took the 2020 season off due to the ongoing threat of the COVID-19 pandemic.

In addition to winning the 2021 MVP Award, Jones won the 2017 Most Improved Player Award and the 2018 Sixth Woman of the Year Award. She is the first WNBA player to win all three awards, and is the second non-American to be named WNBA MVP behind Lauren Jackson of Australia – a three-time winner. Jones is also a former All-WNBA First Team member, a two-time all defensive first team member, a three-time All-WNBA second team member an all defensive second team member, a three-time rebounding champion and a blocks champion.

She was selected by the Sparks at number six overall in the 2016 WNBA Draft before being traded to the Sun on draft night and has spent each of her six years in the league with the Sun.

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