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2024 WNBA Free Agency: Can Natasha Cloud take the Phoenix Mercury back to title contention?

The Mercury are bringing Natasha Cloud into the fold, along with Rebecca Allen. With Brittney Griner expected to return, Phoenix might be primed for a quick turnaround.

Washington Mystics v Phoenix Mercury
Natasha Cloud, the newest member of the Mercury, embraces Phoenix stalwart Brittney Griner after a 2023 game.
Photo by Barry Gossage/NBAE via Getty Images

When we discussed the Phoenix Mercury offseason, we talked about how long it would take the Mercury to rebuild. Well, as WNBA free agency has officially started, the answer may not be as long as we thought.

The Mercury made a big splash by signing Natasha Cloud, giving them a dynamic guard. Cloud is coming off a career year where she averaged 12.7 points, 3.7 rebounds and 6.2 assists in the 37 games she played for the Washington Mystics

The Mercury has also brought in additional reinforcement in Rebecca Allen, who played for the Connecticut Sun in 2023. To acquire Allen, the Mercury traded Moriah Jefferson to the Sun. Although it is not yet official, all signs indicate that Brittney Griner will be back in Phoenix. And the Mercury still have the White Mamba, Diana Taurasi. Adding all that up makes the 2024 iteration of the Mercury intriguing, potentially in the mix as championship contenders.

They still can go after another top talent like Elena Delle Donne, who appears to be looking for a new home; Phoenix is one of her potential suitors.

Adding EDD on top of Griner, Taurasi and Cloud gives Phoenix a core that (when healthy) should be formidable. Don’t forget that Phoenix still has the No. 3 pick in the 2024 WNBA Draft, potentially one of the deepest drafts in league history. The Mercury can add a great core player on a rookie contract. Or, they could use that draft pick in a trade package to further upgrade their roster in hopes of building a super team to contend with the Las Vegas and New York Liberty.

On paper, Phoenix has improved and taken steps in the right direction. They still have the flexibility to make more moves, all while keeping in tact their two stars who have been the foundation of this franchise for years. With another good move or two, the Mercury could truly be in the mix for the 2024 title. As long as they stay healthy and rookie head coach Nate Tibbetts can find his footing in the WNBA, Phoenix seems primed for, at the very least, a bounce-back season and return to the playoffs.