Washington Mystics Pick 4th In the 2013 WNBA Draft: General Manager Search Underway and What Team Building Route Should They Take?

Crystal Langhorne's status remains unclear with the Mystics entering an offseason when they were losers on the court and in the draft lottery. - Paul Frederiksen-US PRESSWIRE - Presswire

Last Wednesday, the Washington Mystics received the 4th pick in the 2013 WNBA Draft Lottery, which was an additional disappointment after the team went through its worst two year stretch in franchise history on the basketball court.

Team President Sheila Johnson told Carla Peay of the Washington Times last Thursday that for now, the most important thing to do is to search for a new General Manager, a position that is currently vacant after the team fired Trudi Lacey of that position as well as her head coaching position last Monday. Here is what Johnson specifically said about the GM search to Peay:

We want to start putting our heads together, hunker down and try and find the best candidates possible.

That search is now underway. Today WomHoops Guru and WNBA insider Mel Greenberg indicated that some WNBA coaches believe that former Shock coaches Bill Laimbeer and Rick Mahorn, as well as former Mercury coach Paul Westhead could make good fits in DC. If the Mystics could land one of these guys as a GM or head coach, it could be an additional step in the right direction.

Whoever the next General Manager is, he or she will have some major decisions to make as to how to improve this team for both the short and long term. In addition, the new General Manager will also likely have to make decisions that will not make all Mystics fans happy in order to improve the team.

Over the last few days since last Wednesday's draft lottery, I put out a series of three FanPosts detailing five possible options that the team could take for 2013. While some options certainly are more appealing than others on one hand, there are also negatives that may not necessarily be in the team's best short or long term interests.

One of the most important issues the Mystics GM and ownership must address is whether star power forward Crystal Langhorne would be a part of this rebuild. Keeping her would certainly keep fans happy that their homegrown star is staying, but doing so may also prevent the Mystics from acquiring assets that may also help their team both short term and long term. Here are the FanPosts below in one easy to reach location so you can see pros and cons of the plans in more detail, though they of course aren't all inclusive:

  1. Part One: The Mystics keep the 4th pick and begin a youth movement. This can also be called "staying the course."
  2. Part Two: The Mystics use the 4th pick and at least some future picks in an attempt to trade up for a "Big Three" player who would be the new face of the franchise, along with a youth movement.
  3. Part Three: The last three options: the Mystics trade the 4th pick down In their youth movement; the Mystics sign free agents who play primarily in Europe; and the Mystics use the 4th pick and at least some future picks in an attempt to acquire a younger star player.
A poll is also shown below. Which of these five options would be your first plan of attack if you were the General Manager of the Washington Mystics?

UPDATE on Dececmber 31, 2012:

After the end of the 2012 NFL regular season, there is an appendix to this series. You can find that piece here.
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