Report: Skylar Diggins-Smith Trade 'Explored' by Mercury amid Friction with HC

Rob Goldberg@@TheRobGoldbergFeatured Columnist IVJuly 6, 2022

Juan Ocampo/NBAE via Getty Images

The Phoenix Mercury have reportedly "explored" a trade involving Skylar Diggins-Smith after a recent social media exchange with first-year head coach Vanessa Nygaard.

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The Phoenix Mercury have "explored" trading Skylar Diggins-Smith, per <a href="https://twitter.com/TheNextHoops?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@TheNextHoops</a> <a href="https://t.co/zwqG9lYTBE">pic.twitter.com/zwqG9lYTBE</a>

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<a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/ICYMI?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#ICYMI</a>: 🚨 BREAKING 🚨: The Mercury have explored trading 5X All-Star Skylar Diggins-Smith, our <a href="https://twitter.com/howardmegdal?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@howardmegdal</a> reports. <br><br>Want to read more about the drama going down in Phoenix? ⤵️<br><br>🔗: <a href="https://t.co/Vqm6DeAgQJ">https://t.co/Vqm6DeAgQJ</a> <a href="https://t.co/zcxn5dh3vF">pic.twitter.com/zcxn5dh3vF</a>

The conflict began when Nygaard said teammate Diana Taurasi should have been named an All-Star.

"I reiterate that [Diana Taurasi] should be an All-Star," she said last week, per Jenna Lemoncelli of the New York Post. "There will be a game in Chicago, but it will not be an All-Star Game because Diana Taurasi’s not playing."

Diggins-Smith was named to Sunday's game and seemingly saw the comments as a slight against her. She quote tweeted a video of Nygaard's comments with a clown emoji, although the post has since been deleted.

It also comes after Taurasi and Diggins-Smith had to be separated this season:

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Skylar Diggins-Smith and Diana Taurasi had to be separated after a heated exchange on the bench. <a href="https://t.co/QGCghYuHAf">pic.twitter.com/QGCghYuHAf</a>

It has been part of a rough season for the Mercury after reaching the WNBA Finals last season under head coach Sandy Brondello. The squad has struggled to a 9-14 record in 2022, featuring a seven-game losing streak in May and June.

Star center Brittney Griner was arrested in Russia on Feb. 17 and has been detained there since.

Tina Charles was expected to play a key role for the team this season, but she mutually parted ways with the squad in late June. The center later signed with the Seattle Storm.

Diggins-Smith could be the next to leave despite a productive start to the season. The guard is averaging 19.1 points, 5.0 assists and 1.8 steals per game this year in her sixth All-Star campaign.

With the 31-year-old under contract through next season, Diggins-Smith would likely be a highly sought-after player on the trade block.


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