Mercury re-sign Brittney Griner on reported 1-year deal

Feb 21, 2023, 10:40 AM | Updated: 10:42 am
Brittney Griner #42 of the Phoenix Mercury celebrates with Mercury President Vince Kozar after the ...
Brittney Griner #42 of the Phoenix Mercury celebrates with Mercury President Vince Kozar after the team defeated the Las Vegas Aces 87-84 in Game Five of the 2021 WNBA Playoffs semifinals to win the series at Michelob ULTRA Arena on October 8, 2021 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
(Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

The Phoenix Mercury have officially re-signed center Brittney Griner, which according to multiple reports is on a one-year deal.

Her Hoops Stats’ Richard Cohen first reported that the deal is for one year, protected and worth $165,100. It left Phoenix with enough for two veteran minimums and two base minimums to fill out their final four standard roster spots.

“It’s a great day for all of us to announce that Brittney Griner has officially signed to play for the Mercury in 2023,” Mercury general manager Jim Pitman said Tuesday in a team release. “We missed BG every day that she was gone and, while basketball was not our primary concern, her presence on the floor, in our locker room, around our organization and within our community was greatly missed.

“We will continue to use the resources of our organization to support her, on and off the floor, and we are thrilled for her that she gets to return to basketball, which she loves so dearly. This is a special signing and today is a special day for all of us.”

The 32-year-old had one of the best years of her nine-year career in her most recent season in 2021, posting 20.5 points per game on 57.5% shooting, 9.5 rebounds, 2.7 assists and 1.9 blocks en route to her eighth All-Star appearance.

Griner was detained in Russia for 10 months and missed the entire 2022 WNBA season after being arrested for having a hash-like cannabis oil in her backpack. As a free agent, she made a promise to play for Phoenix in 2023 following a United States-led prisoner swap that freed her.

“I do not think any of us will forget where we were on Dec. 8 when we heard BG was coming home or on Dec. 15 when she announced she intended not only to play basketball in 2023 but that it would be for the Mercury,” Mercury president of business operations Vince Kozar said through a release. “And I know none of us will ever forget what it will feel like to welcome her back onto her home floor on May 21.

“To know BG is to love and appreciate BG, and we can’t wait to show her that in person with thousands and thousands of her biggest supporters exactly three months from today at our Welcome Home Opener.”

The center brings many accolades including being a two-time scoring champion. She made the All-WNBA First and Second Team three times each, is a four-time WNBA Defensive Player of the Year and made the WNBA All-Defensive First and Second Team a combined seven times.

She teams back up with superstar Diana Taurasi, who signed a multi-year deal to stay in Phoenix on Saturday.

The Mercury start the season on May 19 at the Los Angeles Sparks.

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