Three-time All-Star Penny Taylor returns to Phoenix Mercury

Penny Taylor celebrates a play with Diana Taurasi against the Chicago Sky during game two of the WNBA Finals at US Airways Center.

Mark J. Rebilas/Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

One of the most decorated players in Phoenix Mercury history, Penny Taylor, is returning for the 2016 season following a one-year absence. Taylor started playing with the Mercury in 2004 and has been a part of each of its championship teams. 

The three-time WNBA All-Star ranks second in franchise history in total points, assists, steals and games played. She also owns a field goal percentage of 46.4 percent, which is seventh-best in WNBA history, and is ranked twenty-second in points with 4,294. 

"If Diana Taurasi is the heart of our franchise, Penny Taylor is the soul," said Mercury General Manager Jim Pitman. "Not only is she one of the greatest players in the history of the women’s game and one of the driving forces behind our three championships, she is a great teammate, a leader, a calming force on the floor and in the locker room.  She has overcome injuries and setbacks, and she relentlessly persevered as the ultimate professional to get back on the court and help lead us to the title in 2014."

Following their championship season, the Mercury played last year wihtout both Taylor and Taurasi, who opted to skip the WNBA season after playing with her Russian Premier League team, UMMC Ekaterinburg. The return of Taylor and Taurasi will reunite the Mercury’s 2014 championship starting five, which includes Brittney Griner, Candice Dupree and DeWanna Bonner. 

Taylor spent last season playing in China for the WCBA’s Shanxi Flame, where she averaged 23.9 points, 7.1 rebounds and 4.2 assists.