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Mercury F Kahleah Copper talks trade, hyped for return to Chicago

© Yukihito Taguchi-USA TODAY Sports

The biggest addition of the WNBA offseason for the Phoenix Mercury was when they acquired forward Kahleah Copper from the Chicago Sky.

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Copper and forward Morgan Bertsch were acquired by the Mercury, with the Sky receiving forwards Brianna Turner, Michaela Onyenwere, Phoenix’s 2024 first-round pick (third overall), 2026 first-round pick, 2025 second-round pick and the rights to a 2026 second-round pick swap with the Mercury.

In her first Mercury media availability, she spoke about the trade and what went down prior.

After seeing what Chicago was doing during the offseason involving roster moves, Copper expressed her former team cooperated in finding her a new, competitive situation in the WNBA.

“It worked out because Chicago really worked with me to try to get me in a good position for myself and for my career,” Copper said.

Changing from one team to another can be tough on an individual as not knowing anyone going in could be a daunting task regarding comfortability.

In her case though, Copper has been on the Team USA women’s basketball team with Brittney Griner and Diana Taurasi before, so she knows a thing or two about who they are and what they are about.

When asked about how having prior connections with some players have made the transition a bit smoother, she did not hesitate to respond.

“A thousand percent, playing with D and BG, knowing Tash [Natasha Cloud] and knowing a little bit about Rebecca Allen, being familiar definitely helps,” Copper said.

Reveling Return

During her last seven of eight years in the WNBA (2017-23) with Chicago, Copper earned some serious accolades along the way.

In 2021, Copper was the WNBA Finals MVP after posting 17 points, 5.5 rebounds, 1.3 assists and 1.3 steals as the Sky beat the Mercury in a four-game series, 3-1. For the first time in the Sky’s franchise history and her career, they won their first WNBA title. She was also a three-time All-Star during in the past three years (2021, 2022, 2023) as well.

Later into the season, Copper will head back to Chicago but on an opposing team against the Sky when she does.

The Mercury will face the Sky three times this season, with two on the road in Chicago on Aug. 14 and Sept. 15 while one in Phoenix on Aug. 18.

Not forgetting where she spent the majority of her career with and the memories she collected along the way, Copper stated how special Chicago was and what a return means to her.

“I am going to be super excited to be back,” Copper said. “Chicago holds a special place in my heart. The fans, everybody throughout the organization, top to bottom. So many people that I am not going able to wait to see. To be able to go back to there two times [this season], it’s going to be special. I am familiar with the city. I will be able to go to my favorite food spots and to be able to see those familiar faces and people that I love so much.”

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Reporter Alec Cipollini covers Phoenix Sports News for Burn City Sports. You can follow him on his X account, @AlecCipollini

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