Rick Scuteri/Associated Press
Phoenix receives the Nos. 7 and 10 picks in the 2020 draft and Connecticut’s 2021 first-rounder.
Bonner was an unrestricted free agent this offseason. By executing a sign-and-trade, the Mercury allowed for the three-time All-Star to sign a supermax extension with her new team.
The 32-year-old is one of the most versatile players in the WNBA. She averaged 17.2 points, 7.6 points, 2.7 assists and 1.3 steals for Phoenix in 2019. She only shot 27.2 percent from beyond the arc but made 1.5 three-pointers per game, her efficiency taking a hit due to the added attention she received during Diana Taurasi’s absence.
The Sun finished runners-up to the Washington Mystics in the 2019 Finals and are clearly looking to maximize their championship window. The team confirmed Monday it re-signed Jonquel Jones to a multiyear extension.
Bonner will presumably slide into Connecticut’s starting rotation at the 4 alongside Jones and Alyssa Thomas in the frontcourt.
The WNBA already saw a pair of moves that could impact the 2020 title race. Kristi Toliver left the reigning champion Washington Mystics to sign with the Los Angeles Sparks, and Angel McCoughtry joined the Las Vegas Aces.
The Sun were already poised to mount another Finals run. Add Bonner to the mix and they’re even better, though her arrival could hinder Connecticut’s chances of re-signing both Courtney Williams and Shekinna Stricklen. If push comes to shove, Stricklen seems the likelier candidate to leave.
The Mercury, on the other hand, are trending in the wrong direction. Bonner leaves a void that’s nearly impossible to fill, and Brittney Griner is out of contract after having expressed doubt about her future in the league.
Phoenix could package the three first-rounders it received from the Sun in a trade to land a proven star, but those picks might be needed if the franchise is looking at a rebuild.