DeWanna Bonner is leaving the Phoenix Mercury and its X-Factor of fans.
Now, it appears she could be the x-factor in Connecticut’s quest for a championship.
The first day of free agency in the WNBA had so many twists and turns it could have been its own reality show.
Angel McCoughtry to the Las Vegas Aces.
Kristi Toliver heading back west to the Los Angeles Sparks.
Layshia Clarendon going from New England to New York to join the Liberty.
Morgan Tuck reuniting with Breanna Stewart in Seattle.
Day two was also advertised as one that would be active with free agency news – and one signing stole every headline.
As if a team already with Courtney Williams, Alyssa Thomas, Jasmine Thomas and Jonquel Jones needed any more bolstering, Bonner, who was one of Phoenix’s Big 3 with Diana Taurasi and Brittney Griner was traded to the Connecticut Sun in exchange for draft picks.
— NESN (@NESN) February 11, 2020
The Sun sent three first-round picks to the Mercury to complete the trade. Those three picks are the seventh and tenth picks from this year’s draft plus a pick in the 2021 draft.
The trade without question is a reflection of two things – from a Connecticut Sun perspective, Curt Miller’s philosophy is simple – bring a WNBA championship to New England.
We all really should have seen this DeWanna Bonner move coming; Mercury is closest to the Sun, after all.
— Kurtis (@fromkurtis) February 11, 2020
The Sun came within one game of accomplishing that feat last season and are looking to finish the job in 2020. With a team as loaded from top to bottom as the Sun are, they will certainly move up many power rankings as we get closer to May.
The trade also has significance for the Mercury, but for the opposite of reasons. Bonner is gone, Taurasi is anything but young and Griner has expressed in the past that she does not want to play for any other team except the Mercury. Phoenix is staring into its own crystal ball – and sees a rebuild very near in its future ala Minnesota and New York.
— WSLAM (@wslam) February 11, 2020
oh god this is horrible news for me
— Shea Serrano (@SheaSerrano) February 11, 2020
I’m exhausted just looking at this lineup.
— Lyndsey D’Arcangelo (@darcangel21) February 11, 2020
A few seasons ago, the Mercury could have been considered with the Sparks, Lynx and Liberty to be the class of the W. Now, there is a changing of the guard with teams like the Storm, Sun, Mystics, Aces and Sky taking those places with the Sparks doing everything they can to hold on with veteran talent.
The 2019 WNBA finals teams coming out with a splash today. One being Elena Delle Donne re-signing with the Mystics and Dewanna Bonner is going to Connecticut! #WNBAFreeAgency pic.twitter.com/6IDDCZiEcx
— Jasmine B. (@jasmined_brown) February 11, 2020
A few hours down Interstate 95 – in a move that was expected by many, the Washington Mystics re-upped with Elena Delle Donne, one of the cornerstones of its championship run last season and its bid to repeat this year.
The deal is reportedly for four years.
Four more years! Four more years! https://t.co/6YakOzCE9g
— Ava Wallace (@avarwallace) February 11, 2020
#Mystics announce four-year contract extension with superstar Elena Delle Donne. “This is an exciting time to be a Mystics fan and we look forward to defending our title!” ~ Coach Mike Thibault https://t.co/vxYCVXotle
— 106.7 The Fan (@1067theFan) February 11, 2020
Elena Delle Donne still stay in Washington after signing a four-year deal to stay with the WNBA Champion Mystics. https://t.co/erUBiFQS9v
— 101.7FM / 1150AM WDEL (@WDEL) February 11, 2020
Delle Donne is coming off a season where in addition to winning a championship, she became the first member of the W’s 50-40-90 club and won league MVP.
One of Delle Donne’s former teammates in Washington is Tierra Ruffin-Pratt, now currently in Los Angeles. She was one of the less ballyhooed free agents on the board, and on the second day of free agency, TRP took herself off said board when she re-upped in the City of Angels.
With Alana Beard retiring, it was key that the Sparks re-upped with Ruffin-Pratt whose calling card is also defense. She played in all 34 games last season.
Headband T staying in LA.
— Los Angeles Sparks (@LA_Sparks) February 11, 2020
Los Angeles’ big splash on the first day of free agency came by way of another now former Mystic in Kristi Toliver as she went to the Sparks yesterday.
Deep in the heart of Texas, the Dallas Wings were inking deals left and right. They re-upped with Moriah Jefferson, Megan Gustafson, Imani McGee-Stafford, Karlie Samuelson and Morgan Bertsch. The Wings even signed Jefferson and Gustafson to multi-year deals.
Another deal that they signed – was with Isabelle Harrison.
— Dorothy J. Gentry (@DorothyJGentry) February 11, 2020
— Isabelle Harrison (@OMG_itsizzyb) February 11, 2020
Harrison also was part of the deal that sent Liz Cambage to Las Vegas that also included Moriah Jefferson.
In addition to the signing of Harrison to a new deal, the Wings were also busy wheeling and dealing with other teams – namely the Chicago Sky. The name Astou Ndour started to rise a lot in all of the free agency chatter.
Ndour had initially been offered by the Atlanta Dream. Only one problem – she is a restricted free agent meaning the Sky could match that offer sheet.
Reports then came out that the Sky matched Ndour’s offer sheet – only to complete a trade with the Wings for her. The sign-and-trade still has not been announced by either team and the pieces going in each direction in the deal still remain unknown.
High Post Hoops has reported…
A league source tells High Post Hoops the transaction is likely related to ongoing talks between Chicago and Dallas concerning Skylar Diggins-Smith: https://t.co/3O9qtaEUYq
— High Post Hoops (@HighPostHoops) February 12, 2020
But if true … could the Sky also have competition for Diggins-Smith’s services … and those of another notable free agent?
— High Post Hoops (@HighPostHoops) February 12, 2020