Tina Charles Reportedly Expected to Sign Contract with Storm After Mercury Exit

Erin WalshJune 25, 2022

MINNEAPOLIS, MN - JUNE 23: Tina Charles #31 of the Phoenix Mercury prepares to shoot a free throw during the game against the Minnesota Lynx  on June 23, 2022 at Target Center in Minneapolis, MN. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2022 NBAE (Photo by David Sherman/NBAE via Getty Images)
David Sherman/NBAE via Getty Images

Former Phoenix Mercury center Tina Charles is expected to sign with the Seattle Storm, according to WNBA insider Khristina Williams.

The news comes after Charles agreed to terms on a contract divorce with the Mercury on Saturday. When it was announced, Phoenix general manager Jim Pitman said in a statement that "it was best for both parties to go our separate ways at this time."

Pitman added: "Due to circumstances both in and out of our control, our season has not gone according to our plan, and we will continue to pursue all avenues for improvement."

The Mercury are on a three-game losing streak and sit fifth in the Western Conference with a 6-12 record.

Charles signed a one-year deal with Phoenix in February and has been playing as the team's starting center, filling in for Brittney Griner, who remains detained in Russia after officials said they found vape cartridges containing cannabis oil in her luggage.

The 33-year-old has been playing solid basketball for the Mercury, averaging 17.3 points, 7.3 rebounds and 2.1 assists in 16 games while shooting 44.1 percent from the floor and 36.4 percent from deep.

Before signing with the Mercury, Charles played for the Washington Mystics, Connecticut Sun and New York Liberty. The Sun selected her first overall in the 2010 WNBA draft out of UConn.

Charles was the 2012 WNBA MVP and is an eight-time All-Star, including four straight All-Star selections from 2017-21. In addition, she is a three-time Olympic gold medalist and won two NCAA titles with UConn.

Charles will join a Seattle lineup that includes WNBA legend Sue Bird, in addition to Breanna Stewart, Jewell Lloyd and Ezi Magbegor, who serves as the team's starting center.

Through 14 games this season, Magbegor is averaging 12.4 points, 5.9 rebounds, 1.6 assists, 1.1 steals and 2.6 blocks while shooting 52.5 percent from the floor. It's unclear if she'll be replaced by Charles.

The Storm are second in the Western Conference with an 11-6 record and appear primed to win another title before Bird enters retirement after the season. If they were to win the WNBA title, it would mark Charles' first championship win.