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Natasha Cloud signs with Phoenix Mercury

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Natasha Cloud was named to the all-defensive first team in 2022. (Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

Natasha Cloud is headed to Phoenix.

The free agent signed with the Phoenix Mercury, the team announced on Thursday. According to The Next’s Howard Megdal, the deal is worth $400,000 over two years.

“Natasha is an elite playmaker, one of the best defenders in the league and is coming off a career year as a scorer,” said Mercury general manager Nick U’Ren in a statement. “The tenacity and energy Natasha plays with, on both ends of the court, will help make our team more dynamic, versatile and competitive.”

As of Thursday, free agents could begin signing contracts with teams. Cloud was one of a few big names to make a splash, with Skylar Diggins-Smith signing with the Seattle Storm.

A 2019 WNBA champion and All-Defensive first and second team member, Cloud has spent the entirety of her eight-year career in the league with Washington. She was selected second overall by the Mystics in the 2015 draft.

Cloud has been one of the best players for the Mystics throughout her WNBA career. Last season, she averaged 12.7 points and 6.2 assists per game, both of which were career highs. But this offseason is one signaling change for the Mystics, as players like Cloud and Elena Delle Donne advance in their careers.

“I’m hyped to be coming to the Valley, and be part of building back the Mercury’s dynasty,” said Cloud in a Mercury press release. “D.C. has been my home for nine years and leaving the fans and city isn’t easy, but I’m excited to be part of an organization that values the person and player that I am. I can’t wait to get to Phoenix and get to work with my teammates.”

In a post on social media, Cloud thanked DC for bringing her “so much happiness” in her time with the program.

Other notable moves:

  • The Minnesota Lynx signed Alanna Smith and Courtney Williams, both most recently of the Chicago Sky. They also acquired Natisha Hiedeman in a trade with Connecticut for Tiffany Mitchell.
  • The Atlanta Dream signed Tina Charles and Aerial Powers, as well as trading for Jordin Canada from the LA Sparks.
  • The Sparks traded for Kia Nurse from Seattle and Aari McDonald from Atlanta, as well as draft assets. The Sparks now have picks No. 2, 4, 8 and 28 in this year’s WNBA draft.
  • The Las Vegas Aces re-signed guard Sydney Colson and signed Megan Gustafson.