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.

Phoenix Mercury

Las Vegas Aces guard Chelsea Gray (12) drives around Phoenix Mercury center Megan Gustafson (10) du...
Associated Press

Phoenix Mercury lose third game in a row against Las Vegas Aces

The Phoenix Mercury lost their third game in a row and second without Skylar Diggins-Smith as the Las Vegas Aces defended their home floor.
2 days ago
(AP Photo/Darryl Webb)...
Associated Press

Diana Taurasi scores 31 as Mercury fall to Wings

Arike Ogunbowale scored a season-high 37 points, Marina Mabrey added 13 points and a career-best 10 assists for the Wings.
4 days ago
A young Phoenix Mercury fan holds up a sign "Free Brittney Griner" during a WNBA basketball game ag...
Associated Press

State Dept pushing to see Brittney Griner; NBA Commissioner weighs in

The State Department is still pushing to have regular contact with Brittney Griner, who has been detained in Russia for nearly three months.
5 days ago
New Phoenix Mercury head coach Vanessa Nygaard wears a "BG" pin as she talks with Sophie Cunningham...
Associated Press

Phoenix Mercury let 1st half lead slip in loss to Las Vegas Aces

The Mercury led by as many as 12 points in the first half but Las Vegas' 21-7 run led to a four-point lead and the Aces never again trailed.
6 days ago
Skylar Diggins-Smith #4 of the Phoenix Mercury handles the ball against Sue Bird #10 of the Seattle...
Associated Press

Mercury sweep 2-game set with Storm behind Taurasi’s sharp shooting

Diana Taurasi made six 3-pointers and scored 24 points and the Mercury beat the Storm on Saturday to sweep the home-and-home series.
9 days ago
Phoenix Mercury forward Brianna Turner, middle, loses the ball as Seattle Storm forwards Alysha Cla...
Arizona Sports

Mercury sign F Brianna Turner to multi-year contract extension

The Phoenix Mercury announced on Saturday that forward Brianna Turner has signed a multi-year contract extension with the team.
9 days ago
Phoenix Mercury acquire Kia Nurse, Megan Walker in trade with Liberty