Mercury swap out point guards, adding Briann January and trading away Danielle Robinson

Briann January has averaged 9.0 points and 3.6 assists per game in nine seasons with Indiana.
Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports

PHOENIX — The Phoenix Mercury made a pair of trades on Tuesday, acquiring former Arizona State star and six-time WNBA All-Defensive team selection Briann January from the Indiana Fever in exchange for the eighth pick in next month’s draft, and sending point guard Danielle Robinson to the Minnesota Lynx in exchange for the 12th pick in the draft.

The 5-foot-8, 31-year-old January, who serves as an assistant coach on Chari Turner-Thorne’s staff at ASU, has played for the Indiana Fever for the entirety of her nine-season WNBA career. She has averaged 9.0 points, 3.6 assists and 1.1 steals per game for her career and helped Indiana win a WNBA championship in 2012. She was chosen for the 2014 All-Star game and earned All-Defensive team honors in six consecutive seasons (2012 to 2017). Last season she averaged 9.5 points and 3.9 assists per game.

“Briann is a difference-maker in our league,” said Mercury general manager Jim Pitman.  “We’ve seen her have success guarding the best-scoring guards and wings on the biggest stage, and we’ve seen her run a team as an All-Star-caliber point guard.  We are excited to add perhaps the best women’s player in the history of Arizona State University to our roster.”

Robinson was acquired by the Mercury from the San Antonio Stars prior to the 2017 season and started 29 of the team’s 32 games. A three-time All Star, she averaged 6.9 points and 3.4 assists in her only season in Phoenix. Minnesota will also receive a second-round pick in the 2019 draft from the Mercury.

“We loved having D-Rob in a Mercury uniform,” Pitman said. “She was a great asset to our team and our community, and we wish her the best in Minnesota.  This move allows us to add a very valuable commodity, an additional 2018 first-round pick, as we pursue all avenues of building a championship-caliber roster this year.”