Sun, 20 Jun 2021

After offseason upheaval, Dream face Sun to open season

Field Level Media
14 May 2021, 08:40 GMT+10

The Connecticut Sun and Atlanta Dream begin their WNBA seasons in Atlanta on Friday with both teams experiencing significant changes from last season in the front office.

The Sun hired former UConn great Jennifer Rizzotti as its president last month.

Atlanta has former player Renee Montgomery as a new part-owner. The Dream parted ways with general manager Chris Sienko on April 21, less than a week after the WNBA draft when he took Arizona standout Aari McDonald as the third overall pick.

In the first week of May, head coach Nicki Collen took the head coaching job at Baylor, forcing the Dream to promote Mike Petersen as interim head coach.

Petersen has already worked closely with assistant coach Darius Taylor. La'Keshia Frett and Daynia La-Force were added to the staff last week.

The Dream finished 7-15 last season and have missed the playoffs two straight years.

"This is not going to happen overnight," Petersen said. "This is going to be an ongoing process of those players learning to play together, and our whole group learning to play together."

The Dream signed guard Odyssey Sims and forward Cheyenne Parker through free agency.

McDonald, who led Arizona to its first NCAA title game, should bolster the backcourt that includes the team's first round draft pick from 2020, Chennedy Carter.

The Sun reached the 2019 WNBA Finals, finishing as the runner-up. Last year, in the midst of the COVID-19 bubble, they endured opt-outs and went 10-12 but still reached the quarterfinals.

They retain most of their roster from last season with exception of Bria Holmes, who signed with Los Angeles in free agency.

Jonquel Jones will be back into the rotation after missing a year (opt-out). She will play with DeWanna Bonner for the first time.

"Definitely when the team started to make that late playoff push, I wanted to be there," Jones said. "I saw how close the team was and I understand that we have a team that can compete for championships."

--Field Level Media

Sign up for Tucson News

a daily newsletter full of things to discuss over drinks.and the great thing is that it's on the house!