Sun re-sign Alyssa Thomas to multi-year deal

Connecticut's Alyssa Thomas drives by Atlanta's Tiffany Hayes during a WNBA game last season at Mohegan Sun Arena. Thomas, a free agent, re-signed with the Sun on Monday. (Sean D. Elliot/The Day)
Connecticut's Alyssa Thomas drives by Atlanta's Tiffany Hayes during a WNBA game last season at Mohegan Sun Arena. Thomas, a free agent, re-signed with the Sun on Monday. (Sean D. Elliot/The Day)

Mohegan — Another prominent free agent has opted to remain with the Connecticut Sun.

Alyssa Thomas, who blossomed into a WNBA All-Star last season, signed a multi-year contract on Monday, the franchise announced. Terms of the deal were not released.

The move comes less than a week after free agent forward Shekinna Stricklen also re-signed with the Sun. Connecticut also acquired Australian center Cayla George from the Phoenix Mercury for a second round pick (No. 32 overall) in the 2018 WNBA Draft.

Thomas, a 6-foot-2 forward from Maryland, had a breakout year in 2017, her fourth season with the Sun. She averaged career highs of 14.8 points, 6.8 rebounds and 4.5 assists, recording five double-doubles and finishing with single-season career bests of 147 assists, 52 steals, 188 made free throws and 225 rebounds.

"I'm excited to continue my career with the Sun and build on what we started last season," Thomas said in a release. "Our fans and the Mohegan Tribe have been incredibly supportive throughout my time here. My teammates are a special group and Curt (Miller) has established a winning culture. We're going to do everything we can to bring home a championship."

Thomas was named Eastern Conference Player of the Week twice last season. She also tied a franchise record with seven steals at San Antonio on July 15 and record single-game career highs in points (26 vs. Washington on Aug. 29), rebounds (13 vs. Dallas on Aug. 12) and assists (nine vs. Seattle on June 29).

She also made her playoff debut with a double-double, 20 points and 10 rebounds in an 88-83 loss to the Mercury.

"Alyssa emerged as a WNBA All-Star and one of the most talented facilitating forwards in the entire league," said Miller, Connecticut's head coach and general manager. "She helped us play an exciting style at the offensive end while providing a toughness that every championship team requires. We are excited about her long-term commitment to the Sun, and look forward to building on the momentum gained during the 2017 season."

Thomas, a three-time ACC Player of the Year at Maryland, was drafted by the New York Liberty with the fourth overall picked in the 2014 WNBA Draft, then came to Connecticut that same day in a multi-player trade. She has averaged 11.3 points in 122 appearances (115 starts) with the Sun.

n.griffen@theday.com

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