Brittney Griner signs 1-year, $150K contract with Phoenix

Britney Griner Checking in Phoenix.

Griner signs new deal with Mercury, alliance announcedaccording to Richard Cohen’s Basketball Statistics, a one-year, protected contract worth $150,000. The unrestricted free agent said in her exit meeting after the 2023 season that she has no intention of playing elsewhere.

“Phoenix is ​​my home,” Griner said, “and my wife and I just found a place.” [here]. This is it. “

Griner has been a regular for the Mercury since they drafted her first overall in 2013. The 2024 WNBA season will be her 11th and her second since returning from the Mercury. Wrongfully detained in Russia for 10 months. She helped Phoenix win the 2014 WNBA championship and finished second in MVP voting in 2019 and 2021.

The Mercury missed the playoffs last year for the first time since 2012 after going 9-31 and ranking second-to-last in both offensive and defensive efficiency. Just a quarter of the way through the season, they parted ways with their head coach and hired a former Orlando Magic player.Magic Assistant Nate Tibbetts in october.

Griner returns from wrongful detention

Griner returns to WNBA court Celebrating fans last MayAfter returning to China in December, she signed a One-year deal worth $165,100 as an unrestricted free agentThis is the biggest discount to open up salary cap space.

When she leaves the United States to return to Russia’s UMMC Yekaterinburg team in February 2022, she is a strong MVP candidate to win the Mercury Prize. Back to the finals.she returns after ordeal in russian prison Sentenced to nearly 10 years in prison. The former Baylor star hasn’t touched a basketball in nearly a year. She chose not to possess while in custody Because it’s too difficult.

After going through such an ordeal, her 2023 season went better than anyone expected. The 6-foot-9 center is averaging 17.5 points (almost exactly her career average), 6.3 rebounds, 2.2 assists and 1.6 blocks per game. Her 22.9 points per 36 minutes is slightly better than in 2021, ranking second in her career.

Griner Appearing in her ninth All-Star Game And continue to improve as the season goes on. She will earn MVP and All-WNBA honors in 2024 and stay in shape and train throughout the offseason.

For the first time, she didn’t play overseas like many of the league’s stars, and said She will never play football in another country again Unless it’s Team USA. She rejoined the national team last year and could appear at the Paris Olympics this summer. The team aims to compete for eight gold medalsGriner won with the 2016 and 2021 teams.

Britney Griner.

Britney Griner will return to Phoenix as a free agent. (Stephen Chambers/Getty Images)

What Griner’s signing means for Mercury

Griner is the foundation for the Mercury as a key offensive contributor, having one of the most efficient two-point shooting segments in league history and being a threat to defenses patrolling the rim. She is also a legendary stalwart player on the team. Close relationship with the team, especially during her detention.

The Mercury need to add more offensive weapons around her to pair with veteran guards Diana TaurasiSigned through the 2024 season and said he plans to return. Taurasi, who became the WNBA’s first million-point scorer last year, has been in poor health in recent seasons and is close to retirement. The team has been winning. -Now is the mentality of trying to win her one last ring over the past few seasons.

Big Cave Guard None Skylar Diggins-Smith, an unrestricted free agent, missed last season due to maternity leave.She and the Mercury haven’t made the team yet Best terms in the past two yearsGuard Sophie Cunningham & Moriah Jefferson and forward Michaela Oneville and Brianna Turner Signed.

The Mercury have the third overall pick in April’s draft, which could include guards Caitlin Clark, Paige Bueckers and Georgia Armor, and forwards Aaliyah Edwards and Kamei Renbrink. This is the last year players can play an extra year amid the coronavirus pandemic. 19 exemptions.

Clark expected to be No. 1 fever Brinker is expected to finish third with the Mercury Yahoo Sports Mock DraftBrink, a national champion at Stanford, will create a strong frontcourt next to Griner and improve their league-worst defensive rating and second-worst offensive rating.

The Mercury have had a rough few years heading into the 2021 WNBA Finals, where they lost to chicago sky.them Parting ways with longtime head coach Sandy Brondello was fired a few months later First time as head coach Vanessa Nygaard played in 12 games the following year. As Phoenix’s head coach, she compiled a 17-31 record. Griner’s detention cast a pall over their 2022 season, with Diggins-Smith publicly calling her coach a clown shortly after tensions with teammates surfaced on the bench.

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