Second year center Mercedes Russell has signed a multi-year deal to stay with the Seattle Storm.
The Seattle Storm have re-signed second year center Mercedes Russell to a multi-year deal. After being selected with the 22nd pick of the 2018 WNBA draft by the New York Liberty, Russell was cut after two games.
Six days later Russell was in a Storm uniform, playing against the Las Vegas Aces. By the end of the season it was one of those amazing stories where Russell won a championship and the Liberty had the second worst record in the entire league. This is the stuff movies are made of.
On the season, Russell averaged 1.7 points and 1.4 rebounds in just 5.6 minutes per game. Since the Storm drafted Breanna Stewart, they have been looking for bigger players to take the pressure off her on defense. Ramu Tokashi was good but fouled too often.
Last season the Storm traded for Natasha Howard and she was the perfect foil for Stewart. Signing Russell is the perfect long-term strategy for the Storm. Russell is 6’6″ and athletic.
She is a defensive minded center who can take on players the size of Brittney Griner and Liz Cambage which is where the smaller Stewart struggles, it is the only area on a basketball court where Stewart struggles.
If Russell is able to learn what she can off Howard, she can then step into the breach, when and if Howard moves on. She will have had a number of years to learn the Storm system and develop a chemistry with future starting point guard Jordin Canada.
There is a scent of future planning about this signature. If Russell can develop, there is a lot to like about this move.
For full free agency coverage check out our 2019 free agency central.