Connecticut Sun acquire All-Star Briann January, deal Courtney Williams in 3-team trade
The Connecticut Sun continued to remake their roster, acquiring All-Star guard Briann January on Wednesday as part of a three-team trade. In the deal, the Sun also received a 2021 second-round pick from the Phoenix Mercury and shipped guard Courtney Williams to the Atlanta Dream.
January, a WNBA champion and a six-time All-Defensive Team selection, averaged 6.5 points and 3.3 assists in 33 games (26 starts) for Phoenix last season. The 5-foot-8 guard has recorded 330 steals during her career and has twice led the league in 3-point shooting percentage.
This continues a busy offseason for the Sun, who last week acquired three-time All-Star DeWanna Bonner from Phoenix for three first-round picks, including the No. 7 and No. 10 overall selections this year. They also re-signed New Haven native Bria Holmes, in addition to All-Star Jonquel Jones and Natisha Hiedeman.
“We are thrilled to add combo guard Briann January to our talented roster. She is a veteran leader, WNBA champion, WNBA All-Star, premier defensive stopper, and an elite three-point shooter,” Sun general manager and head coach Curt Miller said in a release. “Her versatility will allow us to be really creative on the offensive side of the ball while her consistent defensive toughness adds to our outstanding defenders.”
Williams, 25, averaged 13.2 points and was a catalyst in Connecticut’s run to the Finals last season, but Miller said she wasn’t interested in returning. In Atlanta, she’ll reunite with Shekinna Stricklen, who signed a two-year contract with the Dream last week.
“We realize Courtney was a fan-favorite and we wish her the best in Atlanta,” Miller said. “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. 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.”
Williams responded to Miller’s assertion that she wanted out, writing on Instagram, “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.”
She continued: “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’ve 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.”
In addition to Phoenix, January, 33, spent nine seasons with the Indiana Fever. She won a title in 2012, made the All-Star team in 2014, and is second on the franchise’s all-time assists list with 909.
“The Connecticut Sun have a talented roster,” she said. “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.”
The Sun open the season May 16 against the New York Liberty at 五福彩票注册送15元.