Connecticut Sun add former Baylor star Queen Egbo, trade 2025 draft pick to Washington Mystics

UNCASVILLE — After its first round of training camp cuts, the Connecticut Sun added 6-foot-4 forward Queen Egbo in a trade with the Washington Mystics on Tuesday looking to bolster its rebounding strength.

Egbo was originally drafted with the No. 10 pick in the 2022 WNBA Draft by the India Fever, earning all-rookie honors in her first season. She was traded to Washington early in the 2023 season, where she averaged 6.2 points and 4.4 rebounds in 15.8 minutes per game over 21 appearances. She logged a career-best 7.2 points per game in her rookie year plus 6.3 rebounds and 1.2 blocks.

“We still feel like we need more rebounding and defensive presence, and she’s someone who is an elite rebounder,” Sun coach Stephanie White said. “We’re bringing someone in who can do that, who can be active and really give us a different look at the post position with her length. She stepped in a year ago with Washington and was terrific on the defensive end and rebounding the basketball, and that’s what we’re going to need.”

In exchange for Egbo, the Sun sent a 2025 second-round draft pick and the negotiating rights for 6-10 center Bernadett Hatar. The Hungarian veteran appeared in 13 games for Connecticut last season but is expected to remain overseas in 2024.

The Sun now have 14 players on their training camp roster, which will cut down to 11 before the season opener against the Indiana Fever on May 14. The team hosts the New York Liberty in the only preseason game on Thursday, and final rosters must be set by Monday.

“We’ll be mindful of taking it slow, put her in certain packages right now until she gets used to everything,” White said. “But it’s helping her understand the expectations to come in and defend and rebound and do the things that (she) does really well. … Some of the things she does that you can’t teach are what we really need.”

Connecticut’s front court is anchored by 2023 All-Stars Alyssa Thomas and DeWanna Bonner, who are back for their 11th and 15th seasons in the league, respectively. Thomas was the MVP runner-up last season averaging 15.5 points, 9.9 rebounds and 7.9 assists, also setting the WNBA record for single-season triple-doubles with six. Bonner had one of the best seasons of her career at age 35, logging 17.4 points and 5.6 boards per game.

The Sun also return eight-year veteran Brionna Jones, who was on pace for her most productive season as a pro before suffering an Achilles rupture last June. Jones averaged 15.9 points and 8.2 across her 13 appearances in 2023, and White said Egbo gives the team depth at the post as Jones slowly ramps up her limited playing time.

How Pilates, playing in China shaped former UConn star Olivia Nelson-Ododa entering third season with CT Sun

“We’ve got to play the long game with Breezy. We’re not going to be playing her 30 minutes a game to start,” White said. “(Egbo) is a different body type than Breezy and (Olivia Nelson-Ododa), and a different type of rebounder. … As we really evaluated where we were through the course of practice, some of the areas we still feel like are weaknesses, rebounding is one of them. We had to address that with someone who has a nose for the ball … but also gives us length and size and toughness at that position.”

The trade reunites Egbo with former Baylor teammate Dijonai Carrington, who transferred to play her final college season with the Bears in 2020-21 after four years at Stanford. Egbo helped lead Baylor to the 2019 NCAA championship and was a two-time finalist for the Lisa Leslie Award given to the nation’s top center.

“Having another familiar face here, far away from home, is always good, and Queen is one of the funniest people I’ve ever met,” Carrington said. “She’s super athletic, and we’re tying to increase our tempo and pace this year, which I think is very conducive to her game. She wants to get out and run, she wants to play in transition, and just flow, flow, flow.”