Phoenix Mercury president and general manager Ann Meyers-Drysdale said on Saturday the trade that sent Kara Braxton to the New York Liberty for Sidney Spencer was prompted by undisclosed issues that led to Braxton being suspended for one-game earlier in the week.
"We needed to make a move and it happened very quickly," Meyers-Drysdale said, "It was internal and we took care of it. Conduct detrimental to the team and that's all we can say."
The New York Liberty were the first team to respond which was how this specific trade came about.
Losing Baxton is a blow for the Mercury who were very excited when they got her last summer from Tulsa in a trade that cost them Nicole Ohlde (since retired) and the 2011 first round pick that Tulsa used to draft Stanford's 6-4 forward, Kayla Pederson with the Mercury's seventh overall pick.
Ann said the team was pleased with Braxton's performance in the early part of this season, "I thought she played very well going into the All-Star game and that's all I can comment on. We had to make a move."
Asked how the trade make the Mercury better, Meyers-Drysdale gave the following answer:
"You lose somebody like Kara Braxton in the middle and you have to make some adjustments. The adjustment we're making is Sidney Spencer coming in and she's a different kind of player than Kara Braxton so we're moving on and kind of changing that style a little bit. We think she has the ability to shoot the basketball very well.
"I think we've been OK shooting the ball this season. In our wins we've shot the ball very, very well. I don't think the shooting, honestly, has been our problem. It's been our ball handling and taking care of the basketball. If we can do a better job on that we're going to get more shots."
It appears that Nakia Sanford, who started against the Lynx in the game Braxton missed with the suspension, will continue in that role.
The Mercury GM remains positive about the team's chances to get in the playoffs thanks to the versatility and veterans on the roster.
The move should also improve team chemistry but when asked specifically about that the response was only, "I just can say conduct detrimental to the team. That's all I'm going to say."
The New York Liberty, now with both Kara Braxton and Cappie Pondexter, will be in Phoenix on August 23.