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The 2022 WNBA trade deadline has come and gone, and there wasn’t much action on Friday despite several players being included in rumors leading up to the 8 p.m. ET deadline.
Skylar Diggins-Smith, Bria Hartley and Allisha Gray were among the players that could have been moved, but their respective teams opted to keep them for the remainder of the season despite executing any blockbuster deals.
Here’s a look at some of trade deadline buzz and a roundup of the news on some notable players.
Skylar Diggins-Smith Remains with Phoenix Mercury
The Mercury reportedly “explored” a trade for Diggins-Smith following a social media conflict with head coach Vanessa Nygaard, according to Howard Megdal of The IX Newsletter.
Diggins-Smith and Nygaard got into an exchange after the first year head coach said that Diana Taurasi, also a member of the Mercury, should have been named a WNBA All-Star and that the game would not be a true All-Star game because Taurasi was not playing.
Diggins-Smith, who was named to the All-Star Game, took Nygaard’s comments the wrong way and quote tweeted the head coach’s remarks with a clown emoji, which has since been deleted.
Diggins-Smith and Taurasi also got into an exchange on the bench earlier in this season, making it seems like she was headed for a divorce with the Mercury.
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Skylar Diggins-Smith and Diana Taurasi had to be separated after a heated exchange on the bench. pic.twitter.com/QGCghYuHAf
Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports reported at Friday’s deadline that the Mercury would “not be participating in a blockbuster trade” and intended to keep the six-time All-Star.
The Los Angeles Sparks were among a number of teams that inquired about Diggins-Smith, but the Mercury “didn’t feel as if they could get equal value in return, and they believe they have the talent to climb up in the standings for a more comfortable first-round opponent,” Haynes wrote.
While there is still a rift between Diggins-Smith and Taurasi, the Mercury believe the two sides can put aside their differences “for the common good of the team.”
It’s been a tough season for the Mercury, who sit fourth in the Western Conference standings with a 11-15 record. Phoenix currently holds the eighth and final playoff spot, but will need to get it together if it hopes to make a deep run.
Allisha Gray “Most Likely” to be Moved by Dallas Wings in Offseason
The Dallas Wings opted not to move Gray at Friday’s deadline, but she is “most likely” to be traded in the offseason, according to Khristina Williams of Girls Talk Sports TV.
Dallas is third in the Western Conference with an 11-13 record and in a playoff spot, so moving Gray before a potential playoff run wouldn’t make much sense. That said, she is still one of the Wings’ best players, and losing her wouldn’t help improve the team’s chances of winning a title.
Gray signed a three-year extension with the Wings in February 2021 and has spent her entire career in Dallas since being selected fourth overall in 2017. She’s in the midst of her best season in the WNBA, averaging 14.3 points, 5.4 rebounds, 2.3 assists and 1.1 steals in 21 games while shooting 45 percent from the floor and 40.8 percent from deep.
However, the Wings have yet to get out of the first round of the playoffs since Gray arrived and missed the postseason twice in her first five seasons. Moving Gray will potentially allow her to compete for a title, which Dallas currently isn’t close to do doing.
Connecticut Sun Express Interest in Bria Hartley
The Indiana Fever waived Bria Hartley on Friday, and it doesn’t look like she’ll be a free agent for long as the Connecticut Sun have expressed interest in the former UConn guard, per Khristina Williams of Girls Talk Sports TV.
Hartley joined the Fever in a three-team trade from the Phoenix Mercury in February that also involved the Chicago Sky. In 10 games with the team, she averaged 2.5 points, 1.0 rebound and 1.0 assist while shooting 34.6 percent from the floor and 33.3 percent from deep.
The 29-year-old began her career with the Washington Mystics after being selected seventh overall by the Seattle Storm in the 2014 WNBA draft. She spent three seasons with the franchise before being traded to the New York Liberty, where she spent three seasons.
Hartley then joined the Mercury from 2020-2021.
The New York native is averaging 7.9 points, 2.2 rebounds and 2.6 assists in her nine-year career.
If Hartley signs with the Sun, she will likely play off the bench, as she has over the last several seasons. Connecticut is second in the Eastern Conference with a 15-8 record and appear primed to make a deep playoff run, so adding Hartley could be a good depth move for the franchise.