As per team policy, terms were not released.
“This is a great signing for us,” Sun Vice President and General Manager Chris Sienko said Tuesday of Lawson, an unrestricted free agent who spent seven seasons with Sacramento. “Kara is the kind of accomplished veteran you always find on the roster of successful teams in any sport. She can do so many things well, and she has so much experience playing in big games. She has won a WNBA title with Sacramento, a gold medal in the Olympics, and she will play a key role for the Connecticut Sun.”
Connecticut has also re-signed Anete Jekabsone-Zogota to a two-year deal.
Lawson averaged 9.3 points per game for Sacramento, appearing in 217 games with 54 starts for the Monarchs. A former Tennessee star who was selected fifth overall by the Detroit Shock in the 2003 WNBA Draft, Lawson is a career 38.8-percent shooter from three-point range who scored her 2,000th career point last year. She was a member of the 2008 United States Olympic team that defeated Australia for the gold medal.
“This is a player we’ve tried to trade for several times,” Sun coach Mike Thibault said. “We tried to sign her as a restricted free agent, but we knew Sacramento would match the offer. She fills a huge need on our team because she plays both guard positions and can excel at all the skills required of both positions. Her shooting, her ball-handling, her passing, her vision, her toughness and her leadership are all things we need.”
Jekabsone-Zogota appeared in 27 games with 16 starts in her first WNBA season, leading the team with a shooting percentage of 39.4 from three-point range. She had 39 made threes, and averaged 9.4 points per game.
“Amidst all the other things we have done, the re-signing of Anete to a two-year contract is a huge step forward in our progress,” Thibault said. “After she got comfortable last year, I think fans and opponents alike saw the kind of player she will be for years to come in this league. Her shooting, passing and court sense are exceptional, and we look forward to her being an integral part of our team for a long time.”
The signing of Lawson continues an extensive offseason makeover for the Connecticut Sun, which also selected veteran forward DeMya Walker in the dispersal draft for Sacramento in December, then completed a major trade that sent Lindsay Whalen and the second overall pick in the 2010 WNBA Draft for Renee Montgomery and the No. 1 pick in 2010.
“We lost a valuable player in Lindsay Whalen, but we’ve turned around and signed Kara Lawson, and we acquired Renee Montgomery and DeMya Walker along with the first pick in the draft,” Thibault said. “It’s as significant an offseason as we’ve ever had.”
The Connecticut Sun will open its eighth season at Mohegan Sun Arena on Saturday, May 15th by hosting the Chicago Sky at 3:30 p.m. Season tickets and mini-plans are on sale now, and can be reserved by calling a Sun Ticket Representative at 1.877.SUN.TIXX (786-8499) or by visiting www.connecticutsun.com.