Former Phoenix Mercury C Tina Charles signs with Seattle Storm
Former Mercury center Tina Charles has signed on with the Storm for the remainder of the season following her “contract divorce” with Phoenix, Seattle announced Tuesday.
Last Saturday, Charles and the Mercury agreed to mutually part ways. The news of the divorce came amid a three-game skid for Phoenix.
Prior to the departure, Charles was the Mercury’s second leading scorer and rebounder, averaging 17.3 points and 7.3 rebounds per game.
First-year head coach Vanessa Nygaard has had her work cut out for her with center Brittney Griner detained in Russia for the past four months.
With Griner’s detainment extended six more months, the Mercury will be without their top two interior forces they expected to have going into the season.
Through the team’s first 20 games, the Mercury currently sit fourth in the Western Conference with a 8-12 record after reaching the WNBA Finals last year.
Before the season started, Charles agreed to take a pay cut — signing a one-year deal worth $108,000 — to join a Phoenix team led by Diana Taurasi, Griner and Skylar Diggins-Smith all on hefty contracts.
“Tina is a player whose game has continued to develop over the years. She’s been an MVP, she’s been the league’s leading scorer, she’s been the league’s leading rebounder, she shot almost 37% from the three-point line last year,” Mercury general manager Jim Pitman said to Arizona Sports’ Bickley & Marotta back in February.
“At the end of the day, what Tina wants more than anything is to win a championship, and she was willing to take less money to do that.”
Charles is a former MVP and eight-time All-Star who is now set to join a Seattle team that features Sue Bird and Breanna Stewart.
Phoenix is coming off an 83-71 victory over the Indiana Fever on Monday. In the win, Diana Taurasi netted seven three-pointers on her way to 27 points.