The Phoenix Mercury has experienced one of the strangest off-seasons in WNBA history. After the Mercury lost 3-1 to the Chicago Sky in last season's WNBA Championships, Phoenix guard Diana Taurasi took out a door at the Wintrust Arena in Chicago. The Sky then celebrated with the door at the championship parade.
The Mercury showed that they were not playing around by signing free agent forward Tina Charles back in February. Charles led the WNBA in scoring last season with 23.4 points per game.
However, nobody in the world was prepared for what happened next to the Mercury franchise. Mercury center Brittney Griner was arrested by Russian authorities at the airport for having vape cartridges filled with cannabis oil. At this time, Russia is claiming that she will be released from detainment on May 19. However, the WNBA season starts on May 6, so she will be missing the first part of the season. She could miss more games based upon if Russia decides to extend the detainment.
Griner is irreplaceable on the roster, but the Mercury had two third-round picks that will be used to bolster the bench. Phoenix definitely needs bench help because the Mercury bench only scored nine points in that Game 4 loss to Chicago.
Round 3, Pick 2: Maya Dodson - F - Notre Dame - 6'3" (12.6 ppg, 7.3 rpg, 1.1 spg, 2.8 bpg).
Dodson is definitely the type of defensive presence the Mercury desperately needs off of the bench. She shall see plenty of playing time because Phoenix made it to the WNBA Finals last season based upon their offense. Dodson will have a lot more opportunities to block shots this upcoming season.
Round 3, Pick 8: Macee Williams - C - IUPUI ( pronounced "Ooey-Pooey") - 6'2" (18.7 ppg, 10.6 rpg, 1.4 spg).
Williams does damage in the paint. Although she did not play against top-notch opposition in conference play, she proved that her stats were not a fluke when she put up 17 points and 13 rebounds against Oklahoma in the NCAA Women's Basketball Tournament. Women's basketball fans will know this reference because her game reminds me a lot of former Texas A&M star Danielle Adams.
Post defense was a definite need that could put the Mercury right back into the WNBA Finals this season. Grade: C+.