March 31, 2024 

Eight-time All-Star Brittney Griner re-signs with Phoenix Mercury

The move was unsurprising after Griner insisted in September that she'd be back

On Friday, some of the least surprising news of this year’s WNBA free agency came when the Phoenix Mercury re-signed center Brittney Griner.

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The deal is for one year and $150,000, Her Hoop Stats’ Richard Cohen reported.

Griner, 33, was a free agent this offseason. She had a solid 2023 campaign after missing 2022 while wrongfully detained in Russia. She averaged 17.5 points, 6.3 rebounds and 1.6 blocks in 31 games en route to an eighth WNBA All-Star selection.

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Despite the Mercury finishing last in the WNBA at 9-31 in 2023, Griner had no intention of leaving Phoenix this offseason. In her exit interview at the end of the season, Griner said she did not plan to play anywhere else and had just bought a house in the area.

Griner re-signing completes what could be a potent starting five in Phoenix. The Mercury brought in 2019 WNBA champion guard Natasha Cloud and traded for All-Star guard/forward Kahleah Copper this offseason. By bringing back Griner, they now have a big-time post player to go with Copper, Cloud and guards Diana Taurasi and Sophie Cunningham.

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Griner’s contract being $150,000 means the Mercury will have to fill out their roster with five players on minimum base contracts. This might look like a problem on paper, but one of their key rotation players, Sug Sutton, is still early enough in her career to be on a minimum contract.

Sutton broke out last season, averaging 8.2 points and a team-leading 4.8 assists per game. She played in all 40 games, giving a team that was rarely fully healthy some dependability.

Griner brings Phoenix’s training camp roster to 13 so far. Outside of Griner, Copper, Cloud, Taurasi, Cunningham and Sutton, the other players in camp will be veteran Rebecca Allen, guard-forward Amy Atwell, forward Morgan Bertsch, forward Mikiah Herbert Harrigan, forward Natasha Mack and guard Christyn Williams.

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*Editor’s note (April 2, 8:02 p.m. ET): An earlier version of this story incorrectly stated that forward Kadi Sissoko would be joining Phoenix Mercury training camp. Sissoko was waived by the team on March 15, 2024.

Written by Jesse Morrison

Jesse Morrison covers the Phoenix Mercury for The Next. A native of Roanoke, Va., Jesse moved to Arizona in 2017 to attend the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University, graduating in 2021 with a degree in sports journalism. Outside of The Next, Jesse works for Arizona Sports, co-hosting an Arizona State podcast, producing a radio show and writing for their website.

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