The Connecticut Sun just made one of the biggest trades of the 2020 WNBA offseason.
Connecticut has received All-Star guard Briann January and a 2021 second-round draft pick in a three-team trade involving the Phoenix Mercury and the Atlanta Dream, the team announced Wednesday. Atlanta will receive Sun fan-favorite Courtney Williams and the No. 17 pick in the 2020 draft, while Phoenix gets forwards Jessica Breland and Nia Coffey from the Dream.
January, who averaged 6.7 points and 3.2 boards per game in 2019, is excited to lend Connecticut a helping hand as it seeks its first-ever WNBA championship.
?I?m extremely excited to be joining this team and reuniting with DeWanna (Bonner),? January said, per a statement released by the Sun. ?The Connecticut Sun have a talented roster. I look forward to contributing on both ends of the floor and doing whatever I can to bring this franchise and the Sun fans their first championship.?
Williams made quite an impact in four seasons with the Sun. The 5-foot-8 point guard developed into arguably one of the best mid-range shooters currently in the league and averaged 13.2 points per game on 43.5 percent shooting in 2019.
Head coach Curt Miller says the team wishes her the best in Atlanta as Connecticut gears its focus toward the future.
?Unfortunately, despite our best efforts and all the loyalty and support we?ve shown Courtney over the last four seasons, it became clear she no longer wanted to return to Connecticut,? Miller added. ?I will look back fondly on the memories we created together, but my focus as always is with the players that have a burning desire to help the Connecticut Sun hang the franchise?s first championship banner. I can?t wait to get back on the court with this team.?
Williams later shared her side of the story in an Instagram post:
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Mannn Connecticut I love y?all so much! Y?all showed me so much love, and honestly helped me step into the player I am today. This process was definitely not an easy one for me, and it truly showed me that it?s all about business, and that loyalty and emotion has no place in these type of negotiations. This was a hard pill for me to swallow, and I?d be lying if I said I wasn?t hurt throughout this process. It?s hard to detach your feelings when you?ve given a program so much of you and have grown 4 years with the same group of ppl. I know that?s how it goes though, I learned that the hard way. Connecticut traded for me, and gave me an opportunity coming out of college and I?m forever grateful. Don?t get caught up in all the rumors that you may hear about why I left. I never intended nor wanted to leave CT and I hope the Connecticut fans and my teammates really understand that.. Thank you to the fans and my teammates for really accepting a kid like me and my different ways of doing things. Y?all are really something special and I love y?all forever! Sidenote: the word loyalty is thrown around so loosely these days, and maybe I was raised differently, but genuine loyalty is shown through the good or the bad. At the bare minimum I could have gotten a ?thank you? like every other player that decided not to rejoin the team, but like I said previously they continue to show me that business is business. SEE YOU SOON ATLANTA!
The Sun will play the Dream for the first time on Saturday, June 13 at Mohegan Sun, with tip-off slated for 7 p.m. ET.