New York Liberty sign Marine Johannes to multi-year deal

Marine Johannes partook in 19 games with the New York Liberty in her rookie season, reaching double-figures in three of her last four.

The New York Liberty have signed guard Marine Johannes to a multi-year deal. Terms of her new contract have yet to be disclosed.

Johannes, 25, averaged 7.2 points and 2.4 assists over 19 contests during her rookie season in New York. She joined the team after representing her homeland of France in the EuroBasket Women tournament in Latvia and Serbia. Johannes also partook in international competition during the 2016 Summer Olympics in Brazil. The Lisieux native is expected to return for the upcoming Olympics in Tokyo.

In her abbreviated time with the Liberty, Johannes established herself as an outside threat. She ranked second on the team (and 14th in the WNBA) with a 38% conversion rate from three-point range, sinking 25-of-66 attempts.

Johannes made her New York debut on July 12 in Chicago. She reached double figures with 10 points (4-of-7 FG) and would duplicate the feat upon her first home game eight days later. A perfect shooting performance off the bench (6-of-6, 4-of-4 three-point FG) earned her a team-high 17 points in the Liberty’s 83-78 win over Los Angeles.

Liberty history awaited Johannes toward the end of the season. With back-to-back showings of at least 20 points against the WNBA finalists from Connecticut and Washington, Johannes became the first New York rookie to achieve the feat since Crystal Robinson in 1999. She would reach her impressive career-best of 22 points on 8-of-12 shooting against the future champion Mystics on Sept. 3. Overall, Johannes reached double-figures in three of her final four games.

“Marine’s ability to create highly efficient shots for herself, as well as her teammates, blends seamlessly with the system our coaching staff plans to implement,” Liberty general manager Jonathan Kolb said in a team statement. “We expect Marine to report to the team at the conclusion of her overseas club obligations and are very excited that she is committed to the Liberty long term.”

Johannes is currently in the starting lineup for Lyon ASVEL Feminin of Ligue Féminine de Basketball, France’s top women’s association. She has tallied averages of 12.7 points, 3.6 assists, and 1.7 steals. Last week, Johannes earned player of the week honors in the LFB after putting up 17 points and six assists in an interleague win over Polish club Arka Gdynia on February 20. Lyon wraps their regular season up this week.

Incoming Liberty head coach Walt Hopkins spoke highly of Johannes in his opening press conference at Barclays Center last month.

“Marine is one of the most underrated, talented players in this league,” Hopkins said. “She can do things with the ball, with the pass, with her pull-up jump shot from half-court. Marine is a special player.”

With Johannes signed, the Liberty’s remaining free agents include center/forward Reshanda Gray and forward Nayo Raincock-Ekunwe. The team also owns the top pick in the upcoming WNBA Draft.

The Liberty open their 2020 season on May 16 on the road against the Connecticut Sun.

Geoff Magliocchetti is on Twitter @GeoffJMags 

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