Mercury GM: Skylar Diggins-Smith is ‘under contract for next year’

Aug 22, 2022, 10:24 AM
Skylar Diggins-Smith #4 of the Phoenix Mercury (File Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)...
Skylar Diggins-Smith #4 of the Phoenix Mercury (File Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
(File Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

Phoenix Mercury guard Skylar Diggins-Smith departed the team for personal reasons during last two games of the regular season and two playoff outings, and making her status for 2023 in the Valley unclear.

In the last media availability of the year on Sunday, Mercury general manager Jim Pitman and head coach Vanessa Nygaard were asked if the star guard would be on the court in Phoenix next season.

“(Diggins-Smith) is under contract for next year,” Pitman said Sunday. “She’s obviously not with us for personal reasons that we really can’t talk about, but she is under contract, so yes.”

Nygaard echoed Pitman’s statement and would not comment on Diggins-Smith’s suspension because of the personal matter.

The Mercury’s season came to an end in a Game 2 first-round loss to Las Vegas Aces on Saturday, ending a year full of ups and downs.

One of the biggest bright spots for the team was Diggins-Smith, the team’s lone WNBA All-Star who averaged a team-high 19.7 points per game to pair with 5.5 assists, 4.0 rebounds and 1.5 steals.

She originally was ruled out on Aug. 6 for a games with a non-COVID-related illness before leaving the team for personal reasons and then being ruled out and suspended on Aug. 10.

On top of the efforts to bring center Brittney Griner home from detainment in Russia, the team dealt with injuries, including to Diana Taurasi down the stretch, a midseason release of All-Star Tina Charles as well as the late suspension of Diggins-Smith.

Pitman referenced the tough season the team had to endure, signing 31 different contracts during the year to fill holes in the roster.

Both the rookie head coach and Pitman said they thought the team was a championship-caliber roster heading into the year before hitting different challenges.

Phoenix finished the season 15-21 and with a first-round playoff exit as the No. 8 seed after falling in the WNBA Finals to the Chicago Sky the year prior.

Phoenix Mercury

Destiny Slocum #24 of the Las Vegas Aces looks to pass around Bria Hartley #14 of the Phoenix Mercu...
Wills Rice

Mercury add guards Slocum, Sutton to training camp contracts

The Phoenix Mercury announced Thursday the team has signed guards Destiny Slocum and Sug Sutton to training camp contracts.
13 days ago
Brittney Griner #42 of the Phoenix Mercury during Game Three of the 2021 WNBA semifinals at Desert ...
Arizona Sports

ESPN to televise Brittney Griner’s 1st games back on court with Mercury

Brittney Griner's return to basketball for the Phoenix Mercury will be aired on national TV, the team announced on Wednesday. 
15 days ago
Guard Shey Peddy #11 of the Phoenix Mercury dribbles the ball during the fourth quarter against the...
Kellan Olson

Phoenix Mercury re-sign guard Shey Peddy

The Phoenix Mercury announced on Sunday morning they have re-signed guard Shey Peddy, the latest returnee coming back to Phoenix in free agency.
25 days ago
From left to right: Jerry Colangelo, Dan Bickley, Michael Bidwill and Vince Marotta on Tuesday, Feb...
Kevin Zimmerman

The Cardinals bring fresh voices and more Newsmaker Week 2023 highlights

Bickley & Marotta welcomed 25 guests representing Arizona's teams and events to their show on Tuesday through Friday. So what did we learn?
27 days ago
Phoenix Mercury's Brittney Griner (42) shoots over Seattle Storm's Mercedes Russell in the first ha...
Arizona Sports

Mercury’s Brittney Griner works out in front of media Thursday

For the first time since her release from Russian custody, Phoenix Mercury center Brittney Griner was playing basketball in front of cameras.
27 days ago
Phoenix Mercury GM Jim Pitman in the Arizona Sports studio on Wednesday, Feb. 22, 2023. (Jeremy Sch...
Kevin Zimmerman

GM: Mercury prepared for heavy media coverage this upcoming season

A still image of Brittney Griner back on the Mercury's practice court Wednesday drew nearly 1 million views on Twitter alone.
29 days ago
Mercury GM: Skylar Diggins-Smith is ‘under contract for next year’