Moriah Jefferson signs free agent deal with Phoenix Mercury

Former UConn standout and 2016 No. 2 overall WNBA draft pick Moriah Jefferson has signed with the Phoenix Mercury, the team announced Monday.

Following an injury-riddled start to her WNBA tenure, which included stints in Minnesota, Dallas and Las Vegas/San Antonio, Jefferson had a career season with the Lynx last year before entering free agency as a highly regarded point guard. She started 30 games for the Minnesota Lynx and in June became one of 11 players in league history to record a triple-double. In all, she averaged 10.8 points, a career-high 4.9 assists and 2.5 rebounds per game in 2022.

"We are very excited to welcome a free agent of Moriah's caliber to the Mercury," general manager Jim Pitman said in a statement. "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."

Prior to signing Jefferson, the Mercury's notable moves in the free agency period included acquiring Michaela Onyenwere from New York in a trade that sent Diamond DeShields to Dallas and re-signing Sophie Cunningham. Free agent Kia Nurse also departed for the Seattle Storm.

WNBA legends Diana Taurasi and Brittney Griner, the latter recently returned from her 10-month wrongful detainment in Russia, are also expected to re-sign with the team, which just assumed new ownership by Mat Ishbia, though those deals are not yet finalized.