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‘Win-win situation’ Kahleah Copper on trade from Sky to Mercury

Kahleah Copper didn’t anticipate being traded just five months after extending her contract with the Chicago Sky in September. “This wasn’t what I had in mind,” Copper admitted, speaking out for the first time since the surprising trade that sent her to the Phoenix Mercury in exchange for four draft picks and two players.

After observing the Sky’s approach to free agency this year, Copper engaged in discussions with the organization about her desire to compete and find the best situation for herself. She appreciated the Sky’s cooperation in seeking what was best for her, ultimately leading her to the Mercury.

Transitioning to the Mercury, a team actively enhancing both its roster and facilities, was a refreshing change for Copper. “I’m incredibly excited,” she exclaimed. “It’s something I’ve never experienced before. Investing in women is crucial, and when you do, you see remarkable results. People want to be part of something special like that.”

Mercury’s new owner, Mat Ishbia, recently announced plans to construct a practice facility and headquarters for the team near the Footprint Center in downtown Phoenix. Copper noted how other WNBA teams investing in players and facilities appealed to her, contrasting with the Sky’s approach.

When discussing what Chicago needs to become an attractive destination for free agents, Copper highlighted the importance of keeping up with the competition. “Players are drawn to places where they feel the game is advancing,” she emphasized.

During a recent USA Basketball minicamp, Copper had the opportunity to chat with Mercury stars Diana Taurasi and Brittney Griner about joining the team. Despite the likelihood of Taurasi’s impending retirement, Copper doesn’t feel pressured to win immediately. She aims to bring her best to the team every day, much like she did playing alongside Candace Parker, focusing on contributing positively to the team’s success.

 

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