PHOENIX MERCURY

Phoenix Mercury acquire Kia Nurse, Megan Walker in trade with Liberty

Feb 10, 2021, 12:26 PM | Updated: 12:27 pm
Kia Nurse #11 of the Capitals celebrates during game two of the WNBL Grand Final series between the...
Kia Nurse #11 of the Capitals celebrates during game two of the WNBL Grand Final series between the University of Canberra Capitals and Southside Flyers at AIS Arena on March 04, 2020 in Canberra, Australia. (Photo by Mark Metcalfe/Getty Images)
(Photo by Mark Metcalfe/Getty Images)

The Phoenix Mercury added to their ranks in a big way on Wednesday.

In a trade with the New York Liberty, the Mercury acquired wings Kia Nurse and Megan Walker in exchange for Phoenix’s sixth overall pick in the 2021 first-round and a 2022 first-round pick.

“With a hard salary cap and great parity in our league, you rarely get the opportunity to add a 24-year-old All-Star, much less a player whose skill set and temperament fits seamlessly with our roster,” Mercury GM Jim Pitman said in a press release.

“Kia Nurse was our top acquisition target this offseason because of her outside shooting, aggressiveness off the dribble, size and versatility on defense, and competitiveness. We welcome her to the Mercury family.”

Nurse, a 2018 first-round draft pick, heads to Phoenix as one of just eight players who have made 30 or more 3-pointers in each of the last three seasons. Last year, Nurse averaged 12.2 points, 2.9 rebounds and 2.3 assists in 27.5 minutes per game. The 24-year-old joins a Mercury squad that finished second in total 3-pointers last year with 185.

Nurse also has a knack of getting to the charity stripe, ranking fifth among WNBA guards in 2020. Mercury star Diana Taurasi led all guards in that category. Nurse has connected on 86.9% of her 103 career attempts.

Walker comes to the Valley after spending 2020 with the Liberty. The 22-year-old averaged 3.3 points and 1.5 rebounds in 11.4 minutes per contest in her first WNBA season.

“If Megan Walker had stayed for her senior season at UConn, we believe that she would have been considered among the top prospects of the 2021 draft class,” Pitman said.

“She shot over 45% from 3-point range her last year in college, is shooting better than 40% from three in Europe this offseason, and has the potential to be an important part of our roster in 2021. We are excited to welcome her to Phoenix.”

The pair now join the star-studded cast of Brittney Griner, Skylar Diggins-Smith, Bria Hartley and Taurasi.

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