PHOENIX – The three-time WNBA Champion Phoenix Mercury today acquired forward Michaela Onyenwere, the team announced. The deal was part of a four-team trade between the Mercury, New York Liberty, Chicago Sky and Dallas Wings. As part of the deal, Phoenix also receives Chicago’s 2025 second-round pick and Chicago’s 2024 third-round pick.
In the deal, Dallas receives Diamond DeShields from Phoenix, first-round picks from Chicago in 2023 and 2024, and the rights to swap first-rounders with Chicago in 2025. New York receives the rights to Leonie Fiebich, Chicago’s 2024 second-round pick, and the rights to swap first-rounders with Phoenix in 2025. Chicago receives the sign-and-trade contract of Marina Mabrey from Dallas and Phoenix’s 2024 second-round pick.
“We want to thank Diamond for her contributions during a 2022 season that was tumultuous for all of us,” said Mercury General Manager Jim Pitman. “Ultimately, this deal provided the opportunity to acquire a former Rookie of the Year and add additional cap space to help us build our roster. Michaela is a player who can be dynamic at both ends of the floor and has already shown her potential in this league. She will be a great, versatile addition to our roster.”
Originally selected by the New York Liberty with the sixth overall pick in the 2021 WNBA Draft, Onyenwere appeared in all 32 regular season games as a rookie (29 starts), averaging 8.6 points and 2.9 rebounds per game in 22.5 minutes of action en route to 2021 WNBA Rookie of the Year honors. During her rookie season, the UCLA product led all rookies in points per game (8.6), total points (275), field goals (91) and three-points made (37) and finished second in rebounds per game (3.0). Onyenwere scored in double figures in 12 games, including a season-high 29 points on May 29 against Atlanta, and recorded her first career double-double (11 points and a career-high 10 rebounds) on August 31 against Minnesota.
Onyenwere finished her four-year collegiate career as UCLA as the program’s fourth overall leading scorer (1,888 points), averaging 19.1 points and 7.2 rebounds her senior year and led the Bruins to a Sweet Sixteen appearance in 2021. As a junior, she started in all 35 games leading UCLA in scoring with 18.3 points and 8.5 rebounds per game.