Phoenix Mercury sign veteran PG, UConn standout Moriah Jefferson

Feb 13, 2023, 9:03 PM

Moriah Jefferson #4 of the Minnesota Lynx drives against Chelsea Gray #12 of the Las Vegas Aces dur...

Moriah Jefferson #4 of the Minnesota Lynx drives against Chelsea Gray #12 of the Las Vegas Aces during their game at Michelob ULTRA Arena on June 19, 2022 in Las Vegas, Nevada. The Aces defeated the Lynx 96-95. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

(Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

The Phoenix Mercury bolstered their backcourt by adding veteran point guard Moriah Jefferson, the team announced on Monday.

Jefferson was the No. 2 selection in the 2016 draft after winning four national titles at UConn with head coach Geno Auriemma.

The 28-year-old has played with four teams in six seasons, starting 30 games in 2022 for the Minnesota Lynx after getting waived by the Dallas Wings.

She finished last season 10th in the WNBA in assists with 147 and second in 3-point field goal percentage with a 47.4% clip on 2.5 attempts per game.

“We are very excited to welcome a free agent of Moriah’s caliber to the Mercury,” Phoenix general manager Jim Pitman said in a press release.

“She is coming off a career year where she demonstrated that she’s a shooter, scorer and creator for both herself and teammates. Adding a ballhandler with youth and versatility was a priority for us this offseason and we’re looking forward to the impact she will provide in her role.”

She averaged 10.4 points and a career-high 4.7 assists per contest last year.

Her shooting will fill a void from 2022, as the Mercury finished No. 11 out of 12 teams in shooting percentage beyond the arc at 32.9%.

Jefferson had a historic college career, finishing 151-5 with the Huskies. She is one of five players who has won the Nancy Lieberman Award for the nation’s best point guard multiple times, doing so in 2015 and 2016.

She was also UConn’s all-time assists leader by the end of her run.

Since the free agency negotiating period opened on Jan. 21, Phoenix’s other major moves have consisted of re-signing wing Sophie Cunningham and trading Diamond DeShields in a deal for 2021 Rookie of the Year Michaela Onyenwere.

Diana Taurasi and Brittney Griner remain free agents.

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