PHOENIX MERCURY

Mercury focused on present and future in twilight of Diana Taurasi’s career

Feb 21, 2024, 11:01 AM | Updated: 11:02 am

Diana Taurasi celebrates...

(Photo by Chris Coduto/Getty Images)

(Photo by Chris Coduto/Getty Images)

New Phoenix Mercury general manager Nick U’Ren wouldn’t have left his post as Golden State Warriors executive director of basketball operations for many opportunities.

But being a part of a growing WNBA landscape on top of working with one of the best to ever do it in Diana Taurasi and heading back home, the job was too good to pass up for the first-year GM.

Now, it’s on him to put the proper pieces in place for success both in the present and future with Taurasi entering her 20th WNBA season and the twilight of her career.

“That is kind of one of the tightropes I’ve been trying to walk,” U’Ren told Arizona Sports’ Bickley & Marotta on Wednesday. “We need to give Diana the best team we can to celebrate her talent, to celebrate her accomplishments. A competitor like her and someone who’s accomplished so much, whenever she decides to hang it up, she deserves to go out with a really enjoyable year and a really competitive team.

“We want to support her and celebrate her … while also building for the future and putting pieces in place so that this thing can be sustainable whenever she’s done. We’re trying to balance those two things. Hopefully we made a dent in that plan with this offseason, but that’s certainly the goal: to give her a really exciting team to play with, that complements her. And then one we can be excited about for the two, four, six years.”

In his first offseason back with the organization that helped kick off his professional basketball career as a video coordinator, U’Ren has stayed busy and aggressive behind the free-agent signing of guard Natasha Cloud and the acquisitions of All-Star Kahleah Copper and forward Rebecca Allen via trades.

He also went out and added Nate Tibbetts at head coach, replacing Vanessa Nygaard.

But with a Brittney Griner re-signing still looming and further roster manipulation needed to achieve his overarching goal of balancing the present and the future, U’Ren’s work is far from done.

As for Taurasi? That’s up for debate.

“She’s still here,” U’Ren said. “I think she’ll be here past when I’m here. I think she’s just going to be here. We need to stop questioning it and just realize it. She’ll probably outlast me here.”

Phoenix Mercury

South Carolina celebrates winning an NCAA Championship...

Associated Press

NCAA women’s title between South Carolina, Iowa was most-watched hoops game in 5 years

South Carolina's victory over Iowa in the women's NCAA championship game had a preliminary audience average of 18.7 million on ABC and ESPN.

5 days ago

Diana Taurasi celebrates...

Vincent DeAngelis

Phoenix Mercury unveil renderings of future practice facility

The Phoenix Mercury revealed renderings for their new state-of-the-art practice facility on Friday.

5 days ago

Caitlin Clark and members of the Iowa women's basketball team celebrate their Final Four win over U...

Associated Press

Caitlin Clark leads Iowa rally for win over UConn in women’s Final Four

Caitlin Clark scored 21 points and made three big 3-pointers in the second half to rally Iowa past Paige Bueckers and UConn, 71-69.

8 days ago

(Photo courtesy of the Phoenix Suns)...

Kellan Olson

Phoenix Suns’ new Player 15 Group HQ gives staff upgraded working space

The Player 15 Group unveiled its headquarters on Thursday, a big-time upgrade of working space for Suns, Mercury and arena staff members.

9 days ago

Brittney Griner, Phoenix Mercury...

Arizona Sports

Brittney Griner re-signs with the Phoenix Mercury

Brittney Griner has re-signed with the Phoenix Mercury, the league announced on Friday.

15 days ago

Diana Taurasi and Brittney Griner, Phoenix Mercury...

Damon Allred

Diana Taurasi, Brittney Griner named to USA women’s national team training camp roster

Phoenix Mercury standouts Diana Taurasi and Brittney Griner were named to the training camp roster for the women's national team.

16 days ago

Mercury focused on present and future in twilight of Diana Taurasi’s career