The Phoenix Mercury have acquired Kia Nurse and Megan Walker from New York in exchange for the 6th overall pick in the 2021 WNBA Draft and a 2022 first round pick, sources informed Winsidr’s Rachel Galligan on Wednesday.
This was part of a hectic day in the WNBA that saw five trades involving nearly half the teams in the league. In a separate deal, the Liberty acquired Natasha Howard from Seattle in return for draft compensation.
The Liberty selected Nurse 10th overall in 2018 and took Walker 9th overall in 2020. Nurse made the All-Star Game in 2019, averaging 13.7 points for a struggling New York ballclub. She suffered a down-year in 2020, fighting severe shooting woes to the tune of a 27 percent mark from the field. Walker, meanwhile, struggled to crack the rotation in her rookie season, averaging just over 11 minutes per game and scoring 3.3 points. Both Nurse and Walker attended the University of Connecticut.
Phoenix is pushing its chips to the center of the table, moving future assets to bolster their guard and wing depth in the present. Though neither Nurse or Walker made a major impact in 2020, both are capable shooters who provide defensive length on the perimeter. Adding the pair of former Liberty players bolsters the Mercury’s depth – a major issue for Phoenix in the Bradenton, Florida bubble.