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2021 WNBA Team Preview: Phoenix Mercury

From one historic season to another, the WNBA’s 25th season is set to tip-off on May 14th. The league will commemorate the 25th season with a campaign, “Count It” and a distinguishing and purposeful 25th season logo. The WNBA will also celebrate the ways its players have shattered expectations and have stood at the forefront of advancement, inclusion, and social change for 25 years.

In the lead up to the season, WNBA.com will break down each team in the league. Next up, the Phoenix Mercury.

Diana Taurasi, Skylar Diggins-Smith, and Brittney Griner are all healthy and ready to enter 2021 as one of the scariest trios in the W. Glimpses of this group were seen at the beginning of 2020, so to see them over the stretch of a season is something Phoenix fans will look ahead to this season.

2020 Season Recap

  • 13-9, 5th in League
  • Lost in quarterfinals to Minnesota

Off-Season Moves

Phoenix added Kia Nurse and Megan Walker to the squad during free agency – both from the New York Liberty and both fellow UConn Huskies. The team also re-signed 11-year WNBA veteran Kia Vaughn. The Mercury look similar to last season, and now know they’ll have Taurasi for years to come after she signed a multi-year contract this offseason.

One Big Question Heading Into 2021

How good can this “Big 3” be? When Griner exited the single-site after just one game, she had been the Mercury’s leading scorer and rebounder. Taurasi, now 39, led the team in scoring with just over 18 PPG, as her and Diggins-Smith tag-teamed the load of taking this team as far as it could go. But with Griner back in the mix, alongside other pieces like Brianna Turner contributing, what’s the ceiling for this group? Phoenix can be as good as its “Big 3” deems.

WNBA Draft Ranking

Following the 2021 WNBA Draft, Michelle Smith ranked every team’s draft decisions. She rated Phoenix 11th out of the 12 WNBA teams.

“With just one pick at No. 32, the Mercury picked center Ciera Johnson of Texas A&M, but the numbers in this draft donโ€™t suggest that Johnson will be able to earn a spot on a roster that will likely only include 11 players coming opening day,” Smith said.

Where to Watch

Phoenix takes on Minnesota on Friday, May 14th at 9pm/ET on CBS Sports Network.