August 19, 2020
Shey Peddy joins the Mercury after being cut by Washington this week
The Mercury finally added to their depth by signing Peddy to a seven-day contract.
Welcome to The Next: A basketball newsroom brought to you by The IX. 24/7/365 women’s basketball coverage, written, edited, and photographed by our young, diverse staff, dedicated to breaking news, analysis, historical deep dives and projections about the game we love.
Subscribe to make sure this vital work, creating a pipeline of young, diverse media professionals to write, edit and photograph the great game, continues, and grows. Paid subscriptions include some exclusive content, but the reason for subscriptions is a simple one: making sure our writers and editors creating 24/7/365 women’s basketball coverage get paid to do it.
Shey Peddy speaks at her virtual introductory press conference after being signed by the Phoenix Mercury on August 19, 2020. (screenshot via Phoenix Mercury)
Now that WNBA teams are allowed to sign players to shorter contracts, the Mercury on Wednesday announced the signing of Shey Peddy to a seven-day deal, bolstering their depth as they look to get back on track for the stretch run.
The Mercury entered the 2020 season as championship contenders, but backcourt injuries have hampered their chemistry. Buying a few more minutes every night with Skylar Diggins-Smith and Diana Taurasi on the bench could go a long way.
Help was, in this case, quite literally right around the corner. Peddy said she appreciated being in the Bubble already instead of having to fly from Washington, D.C. to Phoenix in a typical season. That also means Peddy will have to adjust quickly, but the Mercury have a few clear needs that Peddy can help account for.
“(Head coach Sandy Brondello) wants me to be a spark off the bench,” Peddy said. “That’s what I expected. … I’ll be ready whenever my number is called to come in and bring energy.”
A reporter at the media presser asked her, where she thought she could contribute, Peddy immediately discussed the defensive end. That’s the area where she says she takes pride in her game, and at 5-7, she’ll add to a Mercury backcourt that has great size.
Though core rotation pieces like Diggins-Smith, Taurasi, and Bria Hartley bring size and smarts, Hartley and Taurasi have been hampered by injuries nearly all season, and none of those three is known for their defense. That’s where Shatori Walker-Kimbrough has been helpful as a multi-position defender who can create turnovers, but Peddy should help as another player who can focus solely on the defensive end.
All season, Phoenix has had a hard time containing scoring guards like Jewell Loyd and Arike Ogunbowale. The pesky Peddy — who boasts a 3.0 percent steal rate — can be deployed for a few minutes at a time to check the opposing team’s hot hand, and perhaps cut a few minutes off the veterans’ load while helping in an area of need.
For a team looking to gel quickly for the second half of an up-and-down season, Peddy’s familiarity with one piece of the roster could help, too. Peddy said she and Walker-Kimbrough, who were teammates last year in Washington, had been eating together and spending time together at the WNBA clean site already, which already makes her feel more comfortable.
“It’s always a nerve-wracking experience when you come into a new situation not knowing anybody,” Peddy said, “so that was a comfort that I could just chill and relax knowing somebody.”
Despite an opening for a player like Peddy in the rotation and a certain level of comfort on both sides, WNBA seven-day contracts can be brutal, with the pressure on immediately for a player to perform. Fortunately, this season’s schedule means Peddy will play four games before the Mercury have to decide whether to give her another contract.