WNBA trade deadline: Skylar Diggins-Smith to remain in Phoenix; Sparks not looking at any moves, per sources

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LOS ANGELES — With the WNBA trade deadline today at 8 p.m. ET, the overall consensus around the association is that the Phoenix Mercury will not be participating in executing a blockbuster trade, thus keeping star guard Skylar Diggins-Smith, league sources told Yahoo Sports.

The Los Angeles Sparks inquired about the six-time All-Star, but talks never progressed, sources said.

Weeks ago, it appeared a Diggins-Smith, Mercury breakup was inevitable after a clip emerged showing her and teammate Diana Taurasi addressing one another combatively face-to-face during a timeout huddle.

There was plenty of interest in the nine-year veteran, but the Mercury didn’t feel as if they could get equal value in return, and they believe they have the talent to climb up in the standings for a more comfortable first-round opponent.

The relationship between Diggins-Smtih and Taurasi remains rocky, sources said, but there is a belief within the organization that the two veterans can put their differences aside for the common good of the team.

Diggins-Smith has one more year remaining on her contract following the 2022 season.

Phoenix is 11-15, positioned at the eighth and final playoff spot.

Phoenix Mercury guard Skylar Diggins-Smith controls the ball during a WNBA game against the Dallas Wings on June 18, 2022, in Arlington, Texas. (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez)
Phoenix Mercury guard Skylar Diggins-Smith controls the ball during a WNBA game against the Dallas Wings on June 18, 2022, in Arlington, Texas. (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez)

Teams monitoring Chennedy Carter's availability

Rival executives are monitoring the availability of Los Angeles Sparks third-year guard Chennedy Carter, sources said.

Carter, the No. 4 pick in the 2020 WNBA draft, has been sidelined for the last five games with a knee injury.

But the Sparks do not envision making any moves at the deadline, sources said.

Carter is averaging 7.8 points and two assists in 14.9 minutes off the bench.

Rookie Rebekah Gardner continues torrid start

Chicago Sky general manager and head coach James Wade found a gem in guard Rebekah Gardner, a 31-year-old rookie whose professional career had comprised of only overseas stops.

On Thursday night, the Sky defeated the Sparks 80-68 and Gardner led all scorers with 18 points off the bench on 8-for-11 shooting with 10 rebounds and four assists in 25 minutes.

Garner torched defenders with driving spin moves and showcased her athleticism to finish in traffic around bigger bodies. She failed to make a WNBA team in previous years, but now she’s producing 9.1 points and 3.3 boards in a super reserve role for a team with the best record in the league at 18-6.

Milestone for Nneka Ogwumike

Los Angeles Sparks forward Nneka Ogwumike surpassed the 5,000-points mark on Thursday, joining Lisa Leslie and Candace Parker as the only players in franchise history to reach that milestone.