Before the start of free agency, we did a deep dive into the possibilities and options the Phoenix Mercury had. And while other teams have been wheeling and dealing, Phoenix has mainly stood on the sidelines.
The most significant move from Phoenix so far has been re-signing Sophie Cunnigham. She had a career year with the Mercury last season, averaging 12.6 points and 4.4 rebounds per game in her 29.5 minutes of play. There were rumors about her moving to other teams, so securing the talented guard who fits like a glove with this roster is good news.
It ain’t Phoenix without a little spice ️— Phoenix Mercury (@PhoenixMercury) February 3, 2023
Spicy Sophie is staying in The Valley!
✖️ https://t.co/npNQxHCVUV pic.twitter.com/b3SpFpOwcN
The only two other moves that have been finalized involve Megan Gustafson and Sam Thomas, both signing to training camp contracts. Both players were used sparingly last season with Phoenix, but with so many roster spots still available, it's very possible those training camp contracts could become roster spots.
By the numbers*
Total team salary: $688,850
Cap space: $731,650
Phoenix has the third-most cap space left in the W and still needs to re-sign multiple players. For one, when is Brittney Griner going to be signed? All conversations so far have made it clear she wants to return, but we have yet to hear details about a contract. And the same question needs to be asked about Diana Taurasi. She, just like Griner, has made it clear she wants to play with Phoenix this year, but anything can happen until the pen hits the paper. If the Mercury are done making big moves, then these players need to be on the books as soon as possible.
The only big splash I can see happening in Phoenix involves Skylar Diggins-Smith. The All-Star guard was in trade rumors all last year, and with her having the biggest contract on the books, moving her could bring in multiple players and change the complexion of the team.
If Phoenix doesn't make a splash and does bring back its core, it'll be interesting to see where it lands in a WNBA where the champs have gotten better and New York is becoming a superpower. Will a "big three" of Brittney, Diana and Diamond DeShields be enough to make the Mercury a championship contender?
*All salary numbers come from Her Hoop Stats