Mercury Acquire Veteran Temeka Johnson

Receive Sparks point guard in exchange for 2010 first-round draft pick

PHOENIX, March 26 -- The Phoenix Mercury today announced the acquisition of guard Temeka Johnson from the Los Angeles Sparks in exchange for the Mercury’s first-round draft pick in 2010.

“Since my first year in the WNBA, Temeka has been one of the top point guards in the league,” said Mercury Head Coach Corey Gaines. “She will give us exactly what we need at the point guard position. She's a tenacious guard who has all of the assets of a floor leader. She plays both ends of the floor, can penetrate, and distribute the ball.”

Last season, Johnson appeared in 23 games for the Sparks, making eight starts. She posted 2008 averages of 4.2 points, 1.9 rebounds and 3.1 assists in 17.1 minutes. On July 24 at Connecticut, Johnson posted a season-high 11 points, four rebounds and five assists in 31 minutes. In her three seasons with Los Angeles, the 5-3 point guard averaged 6.2 points, 2.5 rebounds and 3.6 assists in 20.4 minutes per contest.

Originally selected by Washington with the sixth overall pick in the first round of the 2005 WNBA Draft, Johnson was named the 2005 Rookie of the Year. She started all 34 games for the Mystics that season and posted averages of 9.3 points, 3.1 rebounds and 5.2 assists in 28.6 minutes per game. The Louisiana State University product ranked second in the league in assists, dishing out a career-high 5.2 per game.