Jonquel Jones will return to the WNBA on Tuesday night against Tina Charles and the Washington Mystics in a battle of MVP-favorites after clearing protocol following a historic run at the 2021 FIBA Women’s EuroBasket tournament. Jones led Bosnia and Herzegovina to a 4-2 record and its first-ever spot in the FIBA Women’s Basketball World Cup Qualifying Tournament.
Jones’ play was beyond astounding in her six games, averaging 24.3 points on 49.5 percent shooting from the field and 32.5 percent shooting from 3-point range with 16.8 rebounds, 3.0 assists, and 1.5 blocks in 36.3 minutes. In her final two games, she scored 63 points on 49 field goal attempts with 43 rebounds.
She dominated the competition abroad, much like she was running the WNBA before her overseas absence. In 10 games for the Sun, she’s averaging 21.6 points per night on 56.8 percent shooting from the field and 48.9 percent shooting from distance with 10.4 rebounds, 3.0 assists, 1.5 steals, and 1.2 blocks.
In Jones’ absence from the league, Mystics forward Tina Charles has taken the center of attention in the league’s best player conversation. If the season ended today, Charles’s 25.33 points per game would edge out Diana Taurasi’s all-time record by four hundredths of a point. Charles is also shooting 46.3 percent from the field and 36.5 percent from 3-point range with 9.6 rebounds, 2.1 assists, and 0.9 steals. That those two will get the chance to go head-to-head on Tuesday night brings some additional intrigue to Jones’ return to the WNBA floor, as she’ll have quite the opportunity to reassert her place in the MVP conversation.
In five games without Jones, the Sun have gone 2-3, and lost their place in the top-2 of the WNBA’s standings. At 10-5, they trail the Las Vegas Aces by one game and the Seattle Storm by two games. Jones’s return is expected to help Connecticut challenge the WNBA’s powerhouses and assert themselves again as a title contender.