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Sun trade backup guard Alex Bentley to Atlanta for Layshia Clarendon

Connecticut guard Alex Bentley was traded to Atlanta on Monday by the Sun. She was averaging 10.0 points a game for Connecticut in 19 games this season.

The Connecticut Sun have traded away backup guard Alex Bentley to the Atlanta Dream for Layshia Clarendon and a second round pick in the 2019 WNBA draft, the league announced Monday.

Bentley, a sixth-year pro out of Penn State, was averaging 10.0 points and 3.2 assists in 19 games for the Sun. She averaged 12.3 points in the last five games. A 2015 WNBA All-Star, Bentley was in her fifth season with the Sun.

Clarendon is averaging 4.3 points, 1.7 assists and 17.3 minutes per game for the Dream, who acquired the 5-foot-9 guard from Indiana prior to the 2016 season.

She was a member of the 2017 WNBA All-Star team and is part of the 2017-20 USA Basketball national team pool. A year ago, Clarendon had 226 assists with Atlanta, the third highest single season mark in WNBA history.

“We are excited about obtaining Layshia,” said Curt Miller, the Sun’s general manager and coach. “She’s a talented and savvy guard with a great reputation as a leader on and off the court.”

Clarendon played at California before being drafted by Indiana with the ninth overall pick in 2013 WNBA draft.

The Sun (10-9) began the season 7-1 but are 3-8 in their last 11 games. Nine of their last 10 games were on the road, including six games on the West Coast. Forward Alyssa Thomas (12.0 ppg, 9.0 rpg) has missed the last 10 games with a shoulder injury suffered on June 13 against Washington and starting guard Courtney Williams (12.3 ppg) missed the last four games for personal reasons.

Bentley was drafted with the 13th overall pick in the 2013 WNBA Draft by Atlanta and then traded to Connecticut before the 2014 season in a three-team swap.

Atlanta’s first-year coach Nicki Collen spent two years in Connecticut as an assistant coach with Miller and the Sun.

“Having had the opportunity to coach Alex Bentley in Connecticut for two seasons, I know she can be a dynamic scorer, but more importantly, she can create opportunities for her teammates because of her speed and skill with the basketball,” Collen said. “I also consider Alex one of the premier on-ball defenders in the WNBA which will only strengthen our team defense.”

The Sun return to the court Wednesday morning at 11:30 a.m. when they host the New York Liberty at the Mohegan Sun Arena. The Dream (9-9) come to Connecticut next week on Tuesday, July 17 for a 7 p.m. contest.

Gerry deSimas, Jr., is the editor and founder of The Collinsville Press. He is an award-winning writer and has been covering sports in Connecticut and New England for more than 30 years. He was inducted into the New England High School Wrestling Hall of Fame in 2018.

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