Tuck to Seattle, Jefferson stays with Dallas
Morgan Tuck and Moriah Jefferson, each four-time national champions and former stars for the UConn women’s basketball team, are moving on to new chapters after their initial rookie contracts in the WNBA expired.
On the Connecticut Sun, who reached the WNBA finals last season, Tuck averaged 5.4 points and 2.3 rebounds in just over 14 minutes per game in 2019. On Monday, the Sun announced Tuck and the Sun’s No. 10 pick in the 2020 WNBA draft were traded to the Seattle Storm for the No. 7 pick in the 2020 draft.
In Seattle, Tuck will join former teammates Breanna Stewart and Kalenna Mosqueda-Lewis along with fellow UConn great Sue Bird. Tuck remains a legitimate inside-outside threat and should provide the Storm with quality minutes off the bench as they try for their second WNBA title in three years with Stewart back at full health.
Jefferson, who was traded to Dallas as part of the Liz Cambage trade in 2019, missed all of last season due to injury but signed a multi-year extension to remain with the Wings on Monday. She’s been plagued with injuries during her time as a pro, but is still widely regarded as a talented point guard and should be a major contributor alongside former rival Arike Ogunbowale and teammate Azura Stevens.
Hartley signs with Phoenix
On Wednesday, Bria Hartley signed with the Phoenix Mercury, opening the possibility of a second UConn-heavy Western Conference squad to rival the Seattle Storm. She will join Diana Taurasi in the desert, though Tina Charles has been connected to Phoenix as well.
Last year was Hartley’s best in the W, setting new career highs in points (9.8), rebounds (3.2) and assists (3.2). She’s expected to play a depth role with the Mercury, coming off the bench to spell Taurasi and Skylar Diggins-Smith.
Stewart re-ups with Seattle
Breanna Stewart is sticking with the only team she knows in the WNBA. The 2018 WNBA MVP re-signed with the Seattle Storm on Thursday. Her contract will run for two years, starting with a salary of $185 thousand per year, according to Howard Megdal.
Stewart missed the entire 2019 season with a torn achilles but made her return to the basketball court in late January in the Team USA exhibition against UConn.
The last time Stewart was on the court for a full season, she won nearly everything under the sun include individual awards such as league MVP, WNBA Finals MVP and USA Female Basketball of the Year as well as the 2018 WNBA Finals and FIBA World Cup.
Dolson re-signs with Chicago
As Seattle and Phoenix appear to be building UConn-heavy superteams, the Chicago Sky is keeping its own together: Stefanie Dolson will re-sign with the Sky, according to the Chicago Sun Times. Including Dolson, Chicago now has three former Huskies on the roster along with Katie Lou Samuelson (Update: Now Azura Stevens) and Gabby Williams.
Samuelson, Stevens swapped
A crazy WNBA offseason got even crazier on Friday as the Dallas Wings and Chicago Sky swapped former UConn players. Azura Stevens heads to the Windy City with Katie Lou Samuelson and the Sky’s 2021 first round pick off to Dallas.
Samuelson will join former teammate Moriah Jefferson with the Wings while Stevens will join the aforementioned Dolson and Williams in Chicago.
Mosqueda-Lewis returns to Connecticut
After sending Morgan Tuck to Seattle, the Connecticut Sun will maintain a UConn presence on its roster after trading for Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis while sending a 2021 second round pick to the Storm.
Mosqueda-Lewis spent the first five years of her career in Seattle after it drafted her with the No. 3 overall pick in the 2015 WNBA Draft. She’s averaged 5.28 points in 141 games while hitting 125 three pointers.