The Connecticut Sun announced that Jonquel Jones will sit out the entire 2020 WNBA season, a huge blow for their title hopes.
Last week, the WNBA finally rolled out their plans for safely conducting the 2020 WNBA season — a shortened, 22-game run with all the teams playing at the IMG Academy in Bradenton, Florida. As with the NBA, provisions were in place for players to opt-out of the season for any reason but it means forgoing their salary. Earlier today, Davis Bertans of the NBA’s Washington Wizards said that he would not join his team in Orlando and now the Connecticut Sun have announced star forward Jonquel Jones will sit out the entire season.
Per reporter Brendon Kleen, Sun coach Curt Miller made the following statement of support:
“On behalf of our entire organization, we fully support JJ’s difficult decision to sit out the 2020 WNBA season during these unprecedented times. We recognize the amount of unique challenges, sacrifices, and unknowns this season presents.”
Jones is from the Bahamas and has been with her family there during the COVID-19 pandemic. The Bahamas have a population of just under 400,000 but have reported 104 confirmed cases and 11 deaths.
What do the Connecticut Sun lose with Jonquel Jones sitting out the 2020 WNBA season?
The Sun has legitimate championship aspirations this season, adding DeWanna Bonner and Briann January to a roster that pushed the Washington Mystics to five games in last year’s WNBA Finals. Jones’ absence will give them a lot of holes to try and cover. She led the team in scoring, rebounds and blocks last season and averaged 17.9 points, 10.0 rebounds, 2.0 assists and 1.5 blocks per game across eight playoffs games last season. Jones finished in third place in the voting for both MVP and Defensive Player of the Year, cementing her status as one of the league’s premier two-way players.
With a player of Jones’ profile opting-out, it could open the door for other players to feel more comfortable opting out if they’re uncomfortable with the safety protocols the league has in place.