After the draft, Phoenix Mercury GM Jim Pitman made it clear that the team felt that they were just minutes from a title last season. Signing all of their free agents and luring veterans like Essence Carson had him confident about the team’s chances in 2019, as well. Adding three of the top 13 players in the draft certainly didn’t hurt that optimism. This could be the year for Phoenix to bring a title home for the first time in five years.
Of course, that was before the announcement that Diana Taurasi would miss training camp and up to one-third of the regular season due to back surgery. While they were able to find a way around the loss of Sancho Lyttle last season, this is Taurasi. It’s not a matter of simply plugging in another player and moving on.