Brittney Griner signs multiyear deal with Mercury

PHOENIX — Brittney Griner got her wish.

A day after last season ended, the star center said she wanted to return to the Phoenix Mercury in 2020 if they wanted her. On Friday, they did.

Griner re-signed with the only team that she has played for in the WNBA, inking a multiyear contract, the team announced.

“We’ve had the opportunity to watch B.G. transform into one of the most dominant players in the WNBA since we drafted her in 2013,” Mercury general manager Jim Pitman said in a news release. “In a Mercury uniform, she has become a WNBA Champion, Olympic gold medalist, a multiple time All-Star, a two-time scoring champion and has re-written the league’s record books for blocked shots.

“A force on the court, her work in the Phoenix community is what makes her such a special person. We are thrilled to continue to watch her career grow here in Phoenix.”

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Re-signing Griner, 29, was the third major move the Mercury made this week. On Tuesday, they traded forward DeWanna Bonner to the Connecticut Sun for three first-round draft picks. A day later, the Mercury flipped two of those picks and included another in a trade for guard Skylar Diggins-Smith.

The 6-foot-9 Griner averaged 20.7 points, 7.2 rebounds and 2.0 blocks in 31 games in 2019, while shooting 56.4 percent from the field. She also became the fourth player in WNBA history — and the first true center — to average 20 or more points in three consecutive seasons, joining Cynthia Cooper, teammate Diana Taurasi and Angel McCoughtry.

Griner also joined Anthony Davis, Tim Duncan, Elton Brand, Jermaine O’Neal and Shaquille O’Neal as the only WNBA or NBA players to average at least 20 points, seven rebounds and two blocks per game in three straight seasons since 2000.

Griner, the No. 1 overall pick by Phoenix in 2013, is a six-time All-Star, five-time All-WNBA selection and six-time defensive team selection. She owns two WNBA scoring titles and two Defensive Player of the Year awards, and she helped Phoenix win the championship in 2014.

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