Agent: Sophie Cunningham, Phoenix Mercury reach 2-year deal

Guard Sophie Cunningham will return to the Phoenix Mercury on a two-year deal, her agent, Navarro Thompson, told ESPN on Wednesday.

Cunningham, a second-round pick of the Mercury in 2019 out of Missouri, averaged a career-high 12.6 points in 29.5 minutes for the team in 2022. The 3-point specialist has shot 40% or better from long range each of the last two seasons.

The 6-foot-1 Cunningham was a restricted free agent as the Mercury look to retool their roster following a tumultuous 2022 campaign. Despite dealing with a host of injuries and absences throughout the summer, they limped into the postseason behind a 15-21 record under first-year coach Vanessa Nygaard before being eliminated in the first round by the Las Vegas Aces.

Diana Taurasi and Brittney Griner are both unrestricted free agents but are widely expected back with the Mercury. Griner returned to the United States via prisoner exchange in December after spending 10 months wrongfully detained in Russia after authorities there said she was carrying vape canisters with cannabis oil.

Skylar Diggins-Smith, Brianna Turner and Diamond DeShields are the only other Phoenix players under contract in 2023.

The Mercury are amid an ownership transition as Mat Ishbia assumes control of both them and the Phoenix Suns. The sale is expected to be ratified in the coming days.