One of the biggest names to hit free agency in 2023 isn’t going anywhere, after all. Brionna Jones is staying with the Connecticut Sun—as first reported by Winsidr’s Rachel Galligan—after receiving the core designation, which opened up when the team dealt Jonquel Jones to the New York Liberty in last week’s blockbuster trade.
The Connecticut Sun have officially cored Brionna Jones.
— Rachel Galligan (@RachGall) January 19, 2023
For those who are reluctant to dust off the ol’ CBA for another mind-numbing readthrough, once a free agent is “cored,” they have their “unrestricted” status revoked. Any player given the core designation is automatically offered a one-year, super-max offer on their current team. However, the player and team are still free to negotiate a long-term contract. While under that core designation, a player has the right to veto any trade (though this goes away if the player and team agree to a longer deal). This way, if a team does want to trade a cored player, that player has some say in where they are dealt to, like we saw with JJ heading to Brooklyn.
Jones, 27, was one of the top unrestricted free agents in the 2023 class. She is the best high-volume offensive rebounder in the league and often scores at will in the paint. Simply put, Jones was one of the best two-way players on the board this offseason.
Jones, drafted by Connecticut with the eighth overall pick in the 2017 draft, has played all six of her WNBA seasons with the Sun, carving out a role as one of the most dominant bench players in basketball. The University of Maryland graduate didn’t exceed 9.0 minutes per game over her first three seasons, but she broke out in 2020, averaging over 11.0 points in 26.0 minutes.
Jones has raked in the accolades over the past two seasons. She was named the WNBA’s Most Improved Player in 2021, posting averages of 14.7 points, 7.3 rebounds, and 1.4 steals on 57.0 percent shooting in over 30.0 minutes per game. As icing on the cake, she was named to the league’s All-Defensive Second Team and earned her first All-Star appearance. In 2022, Jones built on her success, winning Sixth Player of the Year and earning her second-straight All-Star nod. She finished last season with averages of 13.8 points, 5.1 rebounds, and 1.2 steals while again shooting 57.0 percent from the field and a career-best 84.0 percent from the free-throw line.