It would appear the Connecticut Sun aren't done making moves.
Not even 24 hours after reportedly agreeing to trade superstar Jonquel Jones to the New York Liberty as part of a three-team deal, the Sun have moved another franchise staple.
Jasmine Thomas, who has spent the last eight years of her 12-year career in Connecticut, is being traded to the Los Angeles Sparks, per Khristina Williams of Girls Talk Sports. In return, the Sun are getting a three-player package headlined by former UConn star Olivia Nelson-Ododa.
The Sun will receive:— Khristina Williams (@Khristina) January 16, 2023
Olivia Nelson-Ododa, Jasmine Walker, and the rights to Kianna Smith.
The Sparks receive:
Jasmine Thomas, and Connecticut’s 2023 first round draft pick (No.10 overall). https://t.co/kYTq2IXUi1
Thomas has long established herself as one of the best guard defenders in WNBA history, with five All-Defensive team selections under her belt to boot. She only appeared in five games last season, with her campaign being cut short by an ACL injury. In her last full season (2021), Thomas averaged 10.6 points, 4.1 assists and 1.3 steals while converting 40% of her threes (3.1 attempts).
Even accounting for some slippage, Thomas should be a positive two-way contributor for the Sparks next season. With multiple guards set to hit the market this offseason -- Brittney Sykes, Jordin Canada and Lexie Brown are unrestricted free agents -- Thomas' acquisition also serves as a bit of a buffer if any of them leave for greener pastures.
Though it's a late first-round pick, snagging the No. 10 overall pick is no small thing for the Sparks. They didn't have a first this year, with their selection (No. 4 overall) currently residing with the Washington Mystics (from the Atlanta Dream) due to the Chennedy Carter trade last offseason.
For the Sun, this deal serves as another example of prioritizing younger (and versatile) talent. Honoring Jonquel Jones' trade request helped open the door to use the core designation on Brionna Jones, effectively ending her free-agency tour before it began.
In this deal, I'm enamored by the potential of Nelson-Ododa. Due to injury and a contract divorce, the Sparks' frontcourt rotation was a bit of a revolving door last season. That opened up playing time for Nelson-Ododa, who showcased fun flashes on both ends of the floor.