Taurasi hoping to re-sign with Mercury, but says work needed to be done

Diana Taurasi said Tuesday that while her intention is to re-sign with the Phoenix Mercury, there's a possibility she doesn't return to the only team she's played for during her 18-year WNBA career.

"We're in ongoing discussions," Taurasi said from Minneapolis during a USA Basketball training camp. "As a franchise, we're in an interesting position right now with a lot of different things going on from ownership to all the way down. So, I just think it's something that's taking its time and hopefully it'll be resolved on my end and sooner than later."

Taurasi reiterated that she'd like to play for one team during her entire career.

"But you never know what can happen in this world, right?" she said. "As we've seen in the last couple weeks, anything can happen."

On the day that the Phoenix Suns organization, which owns the Mercury, announced that Mat Ishbia had taken over controlling interest of the franchise, Taurasi said the organization has "a lot of things to sort out" before she re-signs.

"Once things get ironed out, I hope to be back," she said. "That's home for me. That's the only jersey I've ever worn."

Taurasi is missing two familiar faces at this week's USA training camp: Sue Bird retired and Brittney Griner was home in Arizona, about two months after returning from a 10-month detainment in Russia. Taurasi said it was "really strange" showing up and not having Bird at the training camp. The two have been close friends since they were teammates at UConn and have won five Olympic gold medals together.

"Usually right now we're having coffee and talking for about three hours and then we have dinner and then we have another coffee and we talk for another two hours," Taurasi said. "When your best friend's not on the team anymore, it is a little bit strange, but I'll have to find someone else to bug."

Taurasi said Griner texted her Tuesday morning asking how training camp was going.

"She wants to be a part of this like no one else," Taurasi said. "So, she'll get there eventually. She'll find her footing."

The two talk regularly now that Griner is back in Arizona. They hang out, chat on the phone and text each other.

"We've had probably too many jokes that I can't share, too many stories that I can't share," Taurasi said. "I'm just happy she's home."

There was a point throughout Griner's ordeal in Russia, however, that Taurasi wasn't sure if she'd ever see her good friend again. Taurasi was on the private plane that picked up Griner outside San Antonio and flew her back to Arizona.

"It was a situation that I thought wasn't going to happen," Taurasi said. "I'm not a person that lives in this fake world of optimism. ... I lived in Russia for 10 years. I know how serious these things are there, and being put in that situation, I really thought it was gonna be a long time until I got to see my friend again.

"And every single day we suffered and hoped she'd be back and not until I saw her, did I really believe it. And just to see her smile, just to see her free, was really emotional for everyone. And we knew, at the same time, the minute she got into that plane and we got to Phoenix, there was going to be a whole new set of challenges, a whole new reality, a whole new way of living life for B.G. And all I can say is that every day she's in a great place, she's so thankful to be home.

"She has so much admiration for all the people who pushed and helped and made sure that we got her home and it's a work in progress, but it's just amazing to see her at home and with her friends and family. And the one thing that has never left B.G. is the ability to make people happy and to make them smile. I'm just so glad she's home with her family and her friends. That to me is the most important thing."