What Courtney Williams, Briann January trade means for Connecticut Sun

Sun add January and send Williams to Atlanta

On Tuesday afternoon the Sun announced that in a three-way trade with the Phoneix Mercury and Atlanta Dream they had acquired Briann January and Phoenix’s 2021 second-round pick. In the same trade the Sun sent Courtney Williams to Atlanta.

January brings more championship experience to the team, making trips in 2009 and 2015 while winning it in 2012, all with the Fever. She brings an elite defensive talent to the team, something that will allow her to easily fit into the team. She’s been named the the WNBA All-Defensive Teams six times and has 330 career steals, something that will complement Alyssa Thomas well.

She also brings an elite three-point shooting ability, something the Sun needed after Shekinna Stricklen signed with the Dream. January led the league in three-point shooting percentage in both 2015 and 2018, one of just four people to lead two different seasons. She has totaled 2,683 points and 1,122 assists in her career.

“We are thrilled to add combo guard Briann January to our talented roster,” Sun head coach and general manager Curt Miller said. “She is a veteran leader, WNBA Champion, WNBA All-Star, premiere defensive stopper, and an elite three-point shooter. 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.”

This trade also reunites DeWanna Bonner and January, who were on different teams for eight days during free agency.

“I’m extremely excited to be joining this team and reuniting with DeWanna. 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,” January said.

While adding January should be celebrated by Sun fans, the team is also losing electric star Courtney Williams who has been with the team since 2016.

According to Miller, he was not in favor of trading Williams.

“We realize Courtney was a fan-favorite and we wish her the best in Atlanta. 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 said.

He 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 averaged 13.2 points, 5.6 rebounds and 3.8 assists during the 2019 regular season. She seemed to have a limitless amount of energy when she played and her playoff run nearly took the team to their first championship.

While the team will miss Williams they have also worked to assemble a team that will be able to continue to succeed without her.

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