Skylar Diggins-Smith has signed with the Seattle Storm.
The move comes after the Storm traded Kia Nurse and a first-round draft pick to the Los Angeles Sparks to free up cap space.
In a statement, Diggins-Smith called the move “the ideal next step in my basketball journey.”
“The organization’s dedication to its players and the progression of the league is commendable,” she said. “I’m laser-focused for the upcoming season. Stepping onto the court alongside Jewell [Loyd], benefiting from the leadership of [Coach] Noelle Quinn and feeling the energy of the Seattle Storm fans is a combination that I am confident will lead to success.”
The free agent is a nine-year WNBA veteran and six-time All-Star who sat out last season while on maternity leave.
Her departure from the Phoenix Mercury drew headlines, with Diggins-Smith sharing via social media that her relationship with the team had largely deteriorated. It was made clear that a return to the Mercury was not in the cards. She had been traded to the Mercury prior to the 2020 season, and helped the team reach the 2021 WNBA Finals.
The No. 3 overall pick in the 2013 WNBA draft, Diggins-Smith has averaged 16.7 points, 5.0 assists, 2.9 rebounds and 1.3 steals per game in her WNBA career.
Now, she’ll team up with fellow guard and former Notre Dame and USA Basketball teammate Jewell Loyd. The two were teammates at Notre Dame in 2012-13, when the Irish won the Big East tournament. They also won gold together at the Tokyo Olympics in 2021.
“I am beyond excited for the opportunity to coach Skylar, one of the best point guards in the history of our game,” Storm coach Noelle Quinn said in a statement. “Skylar is an ultimate competitor, elite playmaker, and excellent defender. Adding Skylar to our dynamic backcourt will immediately elevate our roster as we continue this next chapter of Storm basketball.”