Mercury deal January, acquire Breland and Coffey in 3-team trade
The Phoenix Mercury acquired forwards Jessica Breland and Nia Coffey from the Atlanta Dream as part of a three-team trade on Wednesday.
Phoenix shipped veteran guard and Arizona State product Briann January, plus a 2021 second-round pick, to the Connecticut Sun in the swap. The team also sent a 2020 second-rounder (17th overall) to the Atlanta Dream, while the Sun shipped guard Courtney Williams to Atlanta in the trade.
“On behalf of the entire organization, I want to thank Briann January for giving everything she had each day for the Phoenix Mercury,” Mercury general manager Jim Pitman said in a statement. “Playing whatever role her coaches asked, she was a true professional every step of the way and we wish her the best as she moves forward in her career.”
January, 33, played for the Mercury the last two seasons, averaging 6.5 points and 3.2 assists per game in 2019.
“We’re excited to add two highly skilled, high character players in Jessica and Nia,” Pitman said in the statement. “We know they will make individual contributions this year, but we are even more excited about what their addition means for our overall roster.
“Adding Jessica, one of the league’s best rebounders, to our frontcourt … is big for us. Adding a player like Nia, who can play multiple positions and shot 38 percent from three last year, after already adding Skylar Diggins-Smith and Bria Hartley (this offseason), made this deal very appealing.”
The 6-foot-2 Breland, who will turn 32 next week, averaged 7.5 points and 7.3 rebounds to go with 1.3 steals and 1.1 blocks per game last season in Atlanta. She made the All-Star game in 2013.
Coffey, 24, averaged 5.0 points and 2.8 rebounds per game in 2019.
For the Mercury, the Wednesday trade marks the latest in a series of moves to overhaul the roster around staples Diana Taurasi and Griner. Phoenix previously traded All-Star DeWanna Bonner for a package of first-round picks, then used some of those assets to acquire Diggins-Smith.
The Mercury also negotiated a contract with Griner, who was a free agent tagged as a “core” member of the team, giving Phoenix exclusive negotiating rights.