2017 WNBA preview: Extreme Makeover, Phoenix edition

PHOENIX, AZ - MAY 7: Alexis Prince
PHOENIX, AZ - MAY 7: Alexis Prince /
3 of 4


Have a seat. This could take a minute.

PHOENIX, AZ – OCTOBER 2: Penny Taylor
PHOENIX, AZ – OCTOBER 2: Penny Taylor /

Several notable names will no longer don the purple and orange. One of them is Penny Taylor, who retired after last season. Every career comes to an end, but Taylor’s final season was emblematic of her “PFT” nickname. She ranked in the top 10 in several categories, including steals, three-point field goal percentage and free throw percentage. On a career scale, Taylor ranks sixth all-time in offensive win shares and eighth in free throw percentage and true shooting percentage in WNBA history.

Taylor was a part of all three championship runs for Phoenix, and she also earned three All-Star selections. She’ll continue her involvement with the Mercury as Director of Player Development and Performance, but replacing her ability to make clutch baskets is a tough assignment.

Also gone is Candice Dupree, who was traded to Indiana. In her seven seasons at Phoenix, Dupree developed a killer mid-range shot, shooting above 50 percent from the floor in each of her last four seasons. Even with a career low 11.3 points per game last year, the five-time All-Star has averaged double digits in scoring in every season of her career.

Another absence is DeWanna Bonner, who won’t play this year due to pregnancy. Unlike the others, Bonner’s vacancy is temporary, but she’s another double-digit scorer who will be missing from the Phoenix lineup.

Overall, the Mercury’s roster has lost 62 percent of its scoring from a year ago. Of course, the bevy of new arrivals will compensate for such a discrepancy, but the math illustrates just how much Phoenix has to overcome in order to reach the playoffs for a fifth consecutive year.