Roster move in the works for Connecticut Sun ahead of game against Atlanta Dream – Hartford Courant

UNCASVILLE — The WNBA season is already more than a third of the way through, but plenty of tinkering is still taking place for teams around the league.

For the Connecticut Sun, another roster move is already underway. The franchise waived guard Yvonne Anderson last Saturday and plans to announce a contract for a new player on Wednesday morning ahead of a game against the Atlanta Dream.

“The amount and the success that we’re having playing [Alyssa Thomas] as a true point guard gives us the flexibility to look at a different position because of the amount of confidence that we have that AT can play point,” Sun general manager and head coach Curt Miller told The Courant of the decision to waive Anderson on Tuesday. “So with her playing there a lot, Natisha [Hiedeman] there, we felt that it gave us some flexibility to look at a different position.”

So what position will be added? When asked whether it would be a wing or a post player, Miller said the team will sign “a versatile guard.”

Thomas, who has mostly played at the three and four spots since being drafted in 2014, has increasingly seen more minutes at point guard since Jasmine Thomas suffered a season-ending ACL injury against the Indiana Fever May 22. The Sun have been tinkering with a rotation of Alyssa Thomas, Courtney Williams, DeWanna Bonner, Jonquel Jones and Brionna Jones — pegged as the “jumbo lineup” because four of those five players are 6 feet 2 or taller.

“It’s definitely an adjustment,” Alyssa Thomas said Tuesday. “It’s a way for me to be able attack, assist, have mismatches. So, for me, just still feeling it out. Every game is different, every team plays that lineup different. It’s just been a learning process.”

Much of that learning has been on the fly as the Sun began rolling out the lineup during a stretch of nine games in 17 days. But players and coaches are quick to point out that Alyssa Thomas has always been a skilled facilitator, which has certainly helped smooth the transition.

“It’s always been something where … she pushes the ball for us a lot, she brings it up, she dictates a lot of what we do,” Jasmine Thomas said. “So I’m not surprised at all that naturally she’s able to get more and more comfortable at the position as we go.

“… When you can have five All Stars on the court at one time, which is what that allows us to do, of course with experience and with more time playing together and being able to adjust that’s a great look for us. And she’s doing well. I mean she’s a huge guard. You’ve never seen a point guard like her. So it’s been cool to watch.”

Miller noted one challenge the team has faced with all of those offensive weapons on the floor together is getting everyone the amount of shots they want to. That had a direct impact on their approach in deciding who to sign. As did the league’s salary cap, of course. Anderson was a 32-year-old rookie on a minimum contract, which Miller said forced the team to bring in someone with less than three years of experience in the league.

“It was a person that we felt like in a different position would be someone that could contribute, we would put in games,” Miller said. “For us, with a deep group of starters, it’s more of an energy defender that we’re looking at. And who’s familiar with our system, you know that’s hard because it’s few and far between those players, but familiarity with the league was intriguing to us.”

Several hours after that signing is revealed on Wednesday, the Sun will take on Atlanta at 7 p.m. The game can be streamed on NESN+ or WNBA League Pass.

The Dream, off to an impressive 7-6 start in their first season under new head coach Tanisha Wright, are led by rising star Rhyne Howard, averaging 16.5 points, 4.0 rebounds, 2.3 assists and 1.3 steals per game after being selected first overall in this year’s draft.

“Terrific offensive player, can really score the basketball at different levels,” Miller said. “She’s a challenge. So you got to disrupt her. How does that happen? The biggest way is you got to throw multiple defenders at her, you gotta throw multiple different looks at her and try to make her shots as difficult as possible. But she’s having an outstanding, outstanding rookie season.”

Lila Bromberg can be reached at lbromberg@courant.com and @LilaBBromberg on Twitter.

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