Sophie Cunningham, Phoenix Mercury reach 2-year deal, agent says

Sophie Cunningham, Phoenix Mercury reach 2-year deal, agent says

10:43 p.m. ET

Alexa PhilippouESPN

CloseCovers women’s college basketball and the WNBA Previously covered UConn and the WNBA Connecticut Sun for Hartford Courant Stanford graduate and Baltimore native with additional experience at the Dallas Morning News, Seattle Times and Cincinnati Enquirer

Guard Sophie Cunningham will return to the Phoenix Mercury on a two-year contract, her agent, Navarro Thompson, told ESPN on Wednesday.

Cunningham, a 2019 second-round Mercury pick from Missouri, averaged a career-high 12.6 points in 29.5 minutes for the team in 2022. The 3-point specialist shot 40% or better long distance each of the last two seasons.

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The 6-foot-1 Cunningham was a restricted free agent as the Mercurys looked to revamp their roster after a tumultuous 2022 campaign. Despite a host of injuries and absences throughout the summer, they limped through the playoffs behind a 15-21 record under freshman coach Vanessa Nygaard before being eliminated in the first round by the Las Vegas Aces.

Diana Taurasi and Brittney Griner are both unrestricted free agents, but are widely expected with the Mercury. Griner returned to the United States via a prisoner exchange in December after spending 10 months wrongfully detained in Russia after authorities said she was carrying vape cartridges containing cannabis oil.

Skylar Diggins-Smith, Brianna Turner and Diamond DeShields are the only other Phoenix players under contract in 2023.

The Mercurys are in the midst of an ownership transition as Mat Ishbia takes control of them and the Phoenix Suns. The sale should be ratified in the coming days.

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