2018 Phoenix Mercury Training Camp Breakdown

2018 training camp breakdown of players for the Phoenix Mercury.

There’s really not much to say: The Phoenix Mercury is a good team that got some breaks during the 2018 draft. But, as one of the better teams in the league, the picks were late first round and mid-second round.  As is the case for most teams, most incumbent players will remain on the final 12-woman roster and everyone else will be fighting for what’s left. Still, expect the usual suspects to be donning the orange and purple come May.  Keep in mind that these roster predictions are my own opinions and are based on statistics and team needs; your mileage may vary. I am not a league GM, nor do I play one on TV.

Roster courtesy of the Phoenix Mercury official website

Number of players on camp roster (as of 4/19): 17

Definitely safe

Diana Taurasi, Brittney Griner, DeWanna Bonner, Marie Gülich, Sancho Lyttle.

Likely safe

Raisa Musina.

DeWanna Bonner

The preeminent glue person on the team (as befits a three-time Sixth Woman of the Year), Bonner is preparing to continue her scoring contributions after giving birth to twins in the offseason.

Prediction: Makes the final roster.

Emma Cannon

Cannon begins her second year in the league and is expected to provide the defensive help she gave last season off the bench. She also led all rookies last season with a 49.1 field goal percentage, so she can give a quick scoring boost if needed.

Prediction: Makes the final roster.

Brittney Griner

Griner is the go-to defensive option for the Mercury and has been since she came to the team from Baylor in 2013 as the #1 overall draft pick. She’ll likely mentor rookie Marie Gülich, the first-round pick out of Oregon State.

Prediction: Makes the final roster.

Marie Gülich

A left-handed player who shoots right, Gülich is a dangerous defensive presence in the post who can also score. She will provide defensive help for Griner, whether as a second option or in a Twin Towers scenario, and can also help the team in scoring.

Prediction: Makes the final roster.

Alex Harden

Harden missed the 2017 season due to a shoulder injury that required surgery and a 6- to 8-month recovery time. Before that, her overall production dropped in 2016 from her rookie year numbers in 2015. Training camp is her time to show that she can bounce back from what could be a career-altering injury.

Prediction: Makes the final roster.

Camille Little

Little is a veteran journeywoman who most recently spent last season in Phoenix. She appeared in all 34 games for the Mercury last season and thrives in her bench role.

Prediction: Makes the final roster.

Sancho Lyttle

Lyttle was a trade acquisition in the offseason from the Atlanta Dream, where she spent the majority of her 13-year career. Lyttle, who is listed at 6’4”, hangs her hat on defense and will work well as a complement to Griner and another mentor to Gülich.

Prediction: Makes the final roster.

Leilani Mitchell

The ten-year veteran and three-point specialist got back to her usual level of productivity last season after returning to Phoenix from her one-year stint with the Washington Mystics. Expect her production to continue, if not increase.

Prediction: Makes the final roster.

Raisa Musina

Musina is a big who can shoot from three-point range and create scoring opportunities while providing an intimidating physical presence in the low post. She will be another defensive and scoring option behind fellow UMMC Ekaterinburg teammate Brittney Griner, offseason acquirement Lyttle, and fellow rookie Marie Gülich, especially if she starts taking and making more threes.

Prediction: Makes the final roster.

Chelsea Nelson

The undrafted rookie out of North Carolina State hopes to prove her worth with a training camp invitation. She excels at rebounding and scoring, but on a team already stacked for both areas, her time in the desert may be cut short.

Prediction: Survives training camp but doesn’t make the final roster.

Alexis Prince

The guard enters her second season in the WNBA. She was underwhelming in her rookie season and, barring an exceptional training camp performance, could find herself seeking a new home since other, better options are available.

Prediction: Cut from training camp.

Angel Robinson

The 6’6” Robinson returned to the league last season after a three-year hiatus; prior to that, her rookie year was spent in Seattle. With Griner, Gülich, and Musina on the roster, the odds of Robinson securing a permanent roster spot are slim.

Prediction: Cut from training camp.

Tyler Scaife

Scaife is a prolific scorer who ended her college career at Rutgers as the second-ranked player in Rutgers history for total points, surpassing fellow Rutgers alum and scoring phenomenon Cappie Pondexter of the LA Sparks--all after sitting out a season following open-heart surgery. As a low second-round pick on such a loaded incumbent roster with most of its needs fulfilled, her status isn’t guaranteed; still, Phoenix has a history of keeping their lower-round picks.

Prediction: Makes the final roster.

Stephanie Talbot: Talbot was drafted by the Mercury in 2014, but opted to play for three years overseas. Her rookie season in the WNBA started last year. She started 24 games last season and has proven to be a reliable bench player, though her production decreased toward the end of the season.

Prediction: Makes the final roster.

Diana Taurasi

She is the heart of the Phoenix Mercury and the face of the franchise, which drafted her with the #1 pick in 2004. DT ain’t going nowhere till she says so.

Prediction: Makes the final roster.

Yvonne Turner

The eight-year veteran out of Nebraska started her rookie year in the WNBA with the Mercury last season. She finished the season ranked third among all rookies for field goal percentage (41%) and played all 34 regular season games.

Prediction: Makes the final roster.

Chatrice White

This late addition to the training camp roster was an undrafted rookie out of Florida State. As a 6’3” center, she’s got an uphill battle to try and secure a spot on a roster that’s already jammed at that position.

Prediction: Cut from training camp.

Imani Wright

Wright joins her fellow Seminole Chatrice White as an undrafted rookie on a training camp invitation. Also, like White, the 5’9” guard has a slim chance of making the permanent roster. Her three-point prowess may give her slightly better odds though with Leilani Mitchell on the roster, Wright’s skills aren’t really needed.

Prediction: Cut from training camp.

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