Free agent Brittney Griner, who was detained for 10 months in Russia before her release in a high-profile prisoner swap, has officially been re-signed by the Phoenix Mercury, the team announced Tuesday.
"It's a great day for all of us to announce that Brittney Griner has officially signed to play for the Mercury in 2023," general manager Jim Pitman said in a statement. "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."
Sources told ESPN that the one-year deal is for $165,100.
Griner, who also played pro basketball in Russia, was arrested at Moscow's Sheremetyevo Airport in February 2022 after Russian authorities said she was carrying vape canisters with cannabis oil. The U.S. State Department had declared Griner to be "wrongfully detained."
After months of strained negotiations, and an extraordinarily rare public revelation by the President Joe Biden's administration that it had made a "substantial proposal'' to get Griner home as well as another detained American, Paul Whelan, Griner's case resolved on Dec. 8 with a prisoner swap in which the WNBA star was exchanged in the United Arab Emirates for Russian arms dealer Viktor Bout.
"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," team president Vice Kozar said in a statement. "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."
Since returning home from Russia, Griner has been out of the public spotlight, with the exception of appearances at the Super Bowl, the Phoenix Open and an MLK Day event in Phoenix, where she lives.
She skipped a USA Basketball training camp earlier this month, but the organization made it clear she could take all the time she needed to decide if she wanted to play for the U.S. again.
The WNBA has said it will address getting Griner special travel accommodations, such as charter flights, after she signed.
The last time Griner, 32, suited up for the Mercury was in 2021, when she led them on an unexpected run to the WNBA Finals, which Phoenix lost to the Chicago Sky. She missed the 2022 WNBA season while in detention in Russia.
Griner had one of the best years of her career in 2021, averaging 20.5 points, 1.9 blocks, 2.7 assists, and career-highs with 9.5 rebounds per game, 2.4 offensive rebounds and a .846 free throw percentage.
The Mercury drafted Griner with the No. 1 overall pick in 2013.
Phoenix also officially re-signed Diana Taurasi, the WNBA's all-time leading scorer, to a multiyear contract on Saturday.
The Mercury open the season on the road against the Los Angeles Sparks on May 19. The team's first home game is two days later against the Chicago Sky.
ESPN's Josh Weinfuss and M.A. Voepel and The Associated Press contributed to this report.