Liberty plan to place franchise tag on Breanna Stewart and hope to carry again free agent Jonquel Jones

Breanna Stewart and the New York Liberty fell simply in need of successful the franchise’s first WNBA championship, dropping to the Las Vegas Aces within the Finals.

It was the primary time that Stewart skilled dropping in a championship spherical since her freshman 12 months of faculty. The league’s MVP had gained the 2 Finals collection she had performed in earlier than with Seattle and gained 4 NCAA championships at UConn. Her lone loss in a title recreation got here within the Large East Event her freshman season.

“Ensuring that I do not really feel that once more, I feel that is actually my mindset and mentality going ahead,” Stewart mentioned Friday.

New York hopes to carry again many of the identical crew subsequent season. Stewart might be an unrestricted free agent however Liberty normal supervisor Jonathan Kolb mentioned that he would give her the franchise tag in order that she will’t signal a contract straight with one other crew.

“It is my first time being cored. Not stunning,” Stewart mentioned. “I am excited for what we’re doing right here in New York and with the Liberty. … I am wanting ahead to it for a few years to return.”

Stewart loved her first season in New York and is targeted on making an attempt to carry town a championship.

“This is not the purpose that we had in the beginning of the season. We did not need to simply get to the Finals. We weren’t content material with being one recreation away from successful the entire thing,” she mentioned. “However we wished to win, and actually simply constructing off of that and never forgetting what it feels prefer to be right here.”

Whereas Stewart undoubtedly is not going anyplace within the close to future, the Liberty might want to work out a solution to re-sign free agent Jonquel Jones, who flourished within the playoffs. She averaged 17.0 factors, 11.6 rebounds and a pair of.4 blocks within the postseason.

Jones, who got here to New York in a commerce within the offseason, can be an unrestricted free agent.

“She’s a participant that we undoubtedly need to retain, and we’ll proceed these talks into the offseason,” Kolb mentioned.

Jones loved her first season in New York and mentioned that she’s “undoubtedly trending in the direction of coming again right here.”

The Liberty have already got Betnijah Laney, Courtney Vandersloot and Sabrina Ionescu signed for subsequent season. Ionescu revealed on Friday that she was coping with a hip damage within the WNBA Finals that she sustained towards Connecticut within the earlier spherical.

She refused to make use of the ailment “as an excuse” however mentioned that was not 100% within the Finals. She averaged simply 9.7 factors and shot 31.5% from the sphere within the 4 video games.

“I needed to get an injection earlier than (Recreation 1) simply to have the ability to play these first two Vegas video games,” she mentioned. “So clearly, not perfect. It is simply sort of what occurs. There is no excuse clearly however, I imply, I wasn’t actually capable of stroll, so timing wasn’t nice.”

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