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Sports >  National sports

Skylar Diggins-Smith headed to Phoenix

UPDATED: Wed., Feb. 12, 2020

USA Women’s National Team guard Skylar Diggins-Smith (17) drives the ball up court during an NCAA women’s exhibition basketball game against Louisville Sunday, Feb. 2, 2020, in Louisville, Ky. (Wade Payne / Associated Press)
USA Women’s National Team guard Skylar Diggins-Smith (17) drives the ball up court during an NCAA women’s exhibition basketball game against Louisville Sunday, Feb. 2, 2020, in Louisville, Ky. (Wade Payne / Associated Press)
By Doug Feinberg Associated Press

NEW YORK – Skylar Diggins-Smith is going to Phoenix to join Diana Taurasi and Brittney Griner.

The Dallas Wings traded the four-time All-Star to the Mercury on Wednesday for the No. 5 and 7 picks in the 2020 WNBA draft and Phoenix’s 2021 first-round pick. The Wings then sent the 2021 pick the team acquired in the deal to the Chicago Sky in exchange for Astou Ndour.

“Players with Skylar’s skillset and ceiling don’t become available in free agency often,” Mercury general manager Jim Pittman said. “She was our top target this offseason and we think teaming her with Diana Taurasi and Brittney Griner will give us the league’s most dynamic offensive trio.”

Diggins told The Associated Press last month that she didn’t want to play in Dallas anymore. The team gave her the franchise designation, meaning she couldn’t leave as a free agent.

The move comes a day after the Mercury sent DeWanna Bonner to the Connecticut Sun for three first-round draft picks, including some of the ones they sent to the Wings.

It’s the second consecutive year that the Wings lost one of their marquee players. Liz Cambage was traded before last season to Las Vegas.

Diggins-Smith has been the face of the franchise since she was drafted third in 2013 when the team was still in Tulsa. She’s averaged 15.9 points and 4.9 assists in her career. She won the league’s most improved player award in 2014 and guided the Wings to the playoffs in 2017 and 2018.

Diggins sat out last season after giving birth to a son in the spring. The Mercury had four players with children last season.

The Wings now hold four first-round draft picks with Nos. 2, 5, 7, 9 as well as the 15th and 21st selections.

In other moves, the Mercury signed free agent Bria Hartley on Wednesday.

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