The New York Liberty made their first big move of the offseason, adding veteran guard Layshia Clarendon, formerly of the Connecticut Sun.
— New York Liberty (@nyliberty) February 10, 2020
The New York Liberty made their first move of a big offseason, adding Connecticut Sun guard Layshia Clarendon on Monday.
“Layshia is an elite facilitator and floor general with an extremely high basketball IQ,” Liberty Head Coach Walt Hopkins said in a team statement. “She not only leads vocally, but also by consistently modeling a tireless work ethic and respect for those around her. She is going to be a massive boon to our roster and our team culture – both on, and off of the court.”
Clarendon, 28, is set to enter her eighth season of WNBA service. She is a 2013 first-round pick, joining the league as the ninth overall selection by Indiana. After three years with the Fever, Clarendon would play three more with the Atlanta Dream before settling in Connecticut via a trade in July 2018.
She was an All-Star with the Dream in 2017 when she averaged a career-best 10.7 points and 6.6 assists. The 2019 season saw here limited to nine games after an ankle injury suffered in practice kept her out of the majority of the season.
A career at Cal saw Clarendon earn 1,820 points over four seasons, a tally good for fifth in program history. Then-head coach Lindsay Gottlieb referred to Clarendon as a “silent assassin” in an interview with Kevin Danna of the Pac-12 conference.
“She is vocal in terms of helping us achieve those goals and being a leader off the court and talking to her teammates, but you’re never necessarily going to notice that on the court,” Gottlieb said in the 2012 discussion. “She just makes big shots, makes big plays and doesn’t have a whole lot of drama with that.”
The San Bernardino, California native and Cal-Berkeley alumna has also partaken on the United States Women’s Basketball team. Her last national action came in the 2018 FIBA Women’s Basketball World Cup in Tenerife, helping guide Team USA to their tenth title in that tournament.
Clarendon can likely serve as a mentor to the Liberty’s incoming top overall draft pick, expected by many to be record-breaking Oregon guard Sabrina Ionescu. The team may have decisions to make when it comes to their other, veteran guards.
They are set to welcome back their past two first-round choices Kia Nurse (a 2019 WNBA All-Star) and Asia Durr, while Bria Hartley and Marine Johannes are free agents. Veteran Brittany Boyd is also on the roster and under contract.
Clarendon and the Liberty won’t have to wait long for a showdown with her former teammates. The team opens their season on May 16 in Uncasville against the Sun.
Geoff Magliocchetti is on Twitter @GeoffMags5490