The Sky’s the limit for the Mercury with Diggins-Smith in Phoenix

Nigeria Women’s National Team v USA Women’s National Team Skylar Diggins-Smith has been ready to leave the Dallas Wings for a while. Now, she has a destination. | Photo by Catherine Steenkeste/NBAE via Getty Images

Skylar Diggins-Smith, previously of the Dallas Wings, has been traded to the Phoenix Mercury in exchange for two first-round draft picks. Here’s what her arrival means for the Mercury’s 2020 season.

The Dallas Wings have announced they have traded point guard Skylar Diggins-Smith to the Phoenix Mercury in exchange for the No. 5 and No. 7 overall picks in the 2020 WNBA Draft and another first-round pick for the 2021 draft. The latter pick was sent to the Chicago Sky in exchange for center Astou Ndour.

Diggins-Smith, 29, is entering her seventh season in the WNBA after sitting out 2019 on maternity leave. She was drafted No. 3 overall by the Tulsa Shock in 2013 after a stellar career at Notre Dame. Diggins-Smith played her last three seasons in the city of Dallas, for the Wings, following the Shock’s move in 2016.

Diggins-Smith was the most highly-coveted guard prospect in the 2013 draft — anticipated to be selected No. 3 overall behind the other two “Three to See” college stars: Brittney Griner, the Mercury’s star center, and Elena Delle Donne.

Griner has been cored by the Mercury. If she re-signs, she’ll get to play with Diggins-Smith, with whom she made headlines during the NCAAW’s 2012-13 season. If Diana Taurasi can work her way back from an ankle injury, Phoenix could be a contender in 2020 after a 15-19 record last season in which Taurasi missed all but six games following back surgery.

Even if Taurasi returns to form, the Mercury still will have to contend with the loss of DeWanna Bonner, who sought an exit and signed with the Connecticut Sun. Phoenix is hoping Diggins-Smith will fill the scoring void that Bonner leaves behind: an average of 15.9 career points per game.

In her most recent WNBA season (2018), Diggins-Smith averaged 17.9 points and 6.2 assists per game.