Sophie Cunningham is returning to the Phoenix Mercury after signing a multi-year deal, per the team’s announcement on Twitter.
It ain’t Phoenix without a little spice 🌶️
— Phoenix Mercury (@PhoenixMercury) February 3, 2023
Cunningham experienced a breakout season in 2022, earning career highs in points per game (12.6), rebounds per game (4.4), and assists per game (1.6). These improvements earned her a third-place finish in the Most Improved Player award voting, and she played a large role in Phoenix making a playoff appearance despite a chaotic season.
This level of performance was a surprise because Sophie began the season on the bench for Phoenix, largely expected to play backup minutes to higher-profile players like Diamond DeShields and Tina Charles. However, after a roster shake-up that saw Charles leave the team via contract divorce, Cunningham became a full-time starter on June 25, and her production soared. By year’s end, her play earned her a spot in Phoenix’s history books—alongside Diana Taurasi, Leilani Mitchell, and Anna DeForge—as one of four Mercury players to make 70 threes in a single season.
Cunningham will be entering her fifth season in the WNBA. She was drafted 13th overall in 2019 by Phoenix after a four-year college career at the University of Missouri.