The three-time WNBA Champion Phoenix Mercury today acquired All-Star forward/center Kelsey Bone from the Connecticut Sun in exchange for rookie guard Courtney Williams, the rights to 2016 second-round pick Jillian Alleyne, and San Antonio’s 2017 second-round pick (acquired by Phoenix earlier this season), the team has announced.
“In-season trades rarely net you an All-Star like Kelsey Bone,” said Mercury General Manager Jim Pitman. “Even though she is in just her fourth year, Kelsey is an established talent in our league and we think this deal makes us a better team today and in the future. She competes, she rebounds, has great size, and plays with great strength and toughness on both ends of the floor. We are excited about her potential here in Phoenix.”
The 6-4, 215-pound Bone is a physical two-way player, who is one of the WNBA’s best with her back to the basket. A four-year pro, just last season Bone earned her first WNBA All-Star selection during a campaign in which she averaged career highs of 15.4 points and 6.3 rebounds, both of which led the Sun, in 33 games (33 starts). Bone was selected the WNBA’s Most Improved Player in 2015 thanks to setting single-season career highs in 10 different statistical categories. She scored 20 or more points seven times, including a career-high 31 points (Sept. 13 vs. Chicago), and posted five double-doubles, including a 28-point, 14-rebound effort (June 19 at Phoenix). After finishing with the league’s second-worst record in 2014, Bone helped to lead the Sun to a 7-1 (.875) start in 2015 before injuries decimated the Connecticut roster.
Originally the fifth overall selection in the 2013 WNBA Draft by New York, Bone played one season for the Liberty before being included as the centerpiece, along with draft picks, in the blockbuster deal that landed former league MVP Tina Charles in New York. Bone increased her scoring average from 6.9 points as a rookie to 9.3 points in 2014 and then to last season’s career-best 15.4-point average.
The Texas A&M product was a Wooden Award Finalist and All-SEC First Team selection as a senior.
Williams was the Mercury’s first-round selection (eighth overall) in the 2016 WNBA Draft, and has appeared in six games this season. Alleyne was the team’s 2016 second-round pick (20th overall) but will miss the entire season due to ACL surgery. The Mercury acquired San Antonio’s 2017 second-round pick in exchange for Monique Currie on May 7, 2016.