The three-time WNBA Champion Phoenix Mercury today announced the signing of one of the WNBA’s best two-way players, forward DeWanna Bonner. Bonner returns to the Mercury after missing the 2017 season due to pregnancy.
“We are thrilled to officially announce the return of DeWanna Bonner to our team,” said Mercury General Manager Jim Pitman. “She is one of the top players in the world on both ends of the floor, she is a great teammate, and she belongs in a Mercury uniform. Adding a player of her caliber to our core of Diana Taurasi and Brittney Griner, and to a team that made the Semifinals last season, gets us even closer to our goal to bring a fourth championship to Phoenix.”
“We are very excited to welcome DB back to our team this year,” added Mercury Head Coach Sandy Brondello. “Her length, athleticism and versatility make us a much more complete and dynamic team at both ends of the floor. She will be called on to not only guard the best perimeter players, but to be a focal point in the offense with her ability to shoot threes and attack the basket for finishes for herself or to create open looks for her teammates.”
Originally the fifth overall pick in the 2009 WNBA Draft by the Mercury, the 6-4, 143-pound Bonner is a two-time WNBA Champion (2009, 2014), three-time WNBA Sixth Woman of the Year (2009, 2010, 2011), former All-Star (2015) and All-WNBA First Team selection (2015). One of the most versatile two-way players in the women’s game, Bonner served as the defensive stopper on a 2014 Mercury squad that led the league in defensive efficiency, and then earned her first career All-Star berth in 2015 by posting one of the best all-around statistical seasons in the WNBA, elevating her offensive game in Diana Taurasi’s absence. Her 2015 season earned her a 2016 ESPY nomination for Best WNBA Player.
In her most recent WNBA season, 2016, Bonner averaged 14.5 points, 5.4 rebounds, 2.4 assists and 1.2 steals per game. She joined Brittney Griner and Diana Taurasi as the only trio of teammates in the WNBA to rank in the top-15 in scoring, and Bonner led the team in steals for a third consecutive season. Bonner scored a career-high tying 38 points on June 18 against Dallas, setting a WNBA record for most points scored by a player off the bench.
Bonner ranks second in multiple categories in the franchise record books, including games played (267), championships won (two), points scored (3,647), rebounds (1,566), free throws (977), free throw attempts (1180). An all-around threat on the court, the lengthy wing owns a franchise-record 13 20-point, 10 rebound performances and is second in career double-doubles (26) in a Mercury uniform. Bonner holds career averages of 13.7 points, 5.9 rebounds, 1.9 assists and 1.2 steals per game, with her most impressive season coming in 2012 when she averaged a team-high 20.6 points and a career-high 7.2 rebounds in 32 games.
In her first basketball action since giving birth to twins, Bonner currently plays overseas in the Czech Republic for USK Praha, who participates in the ZBL League and EuroLeague. She has appeared in a combined 21 games between the two leagues, averaging 13.9 points, 7.3 rebounds and 1.4 steals per game. Bonner currently leads the EuroLeague in rebounding (9.2), ranks 11th in scoring (14.5) and has posted the third-most double-doubles (5).