Q&A with a Washington Mystics season ticket holder on 2013 Draft

One Mystics fan besides me believes that Monique Currie should be available for a deal if it presents itself this season. - Marilyn Indahl-US PRESSWIRE

I wasn't able to make it to the Washington Mystics Draft Party last week. But I asked Ed Strand, one of my fellow season ticket holders on his take on things now that the Draft is over and he was there to see what was up. He was also part of the fan roundtable we had last February.

Here are the questions I had for him and his thoughts on them:

1. The Washington Mystics drafted Tayler Hill as their first round pick, as well as Nadirah McKenith and Emma Meesseman as their second round picks. What are your thoughts on the team's new players, and where do you see them in the current rotation?

Ed: I felt that if we couldn't make a deal for Skylar Diggins or Elena Delle Donne, we needed a good guard who can score efficiently and be a playmaker. I haven't followed too much college basketball this past season, but it was hard to just judge people based on NCAA Tournament appearances. Just because a prospect's team doesn't make the Dance doesn't mean that that prospect should see her stock drop, and if a prospect steps up big time, that doesn't mean her stock should go up by 10 spots.

Bottom line, considering that we weren't able to make a deal to move up in the Draft, Tayler is the best guard at number four and was the right call.

I don't know too much about McKenith, but from seeing highlights of her after the draft, I think she is someone who could be a good backup point guard for the team. As for Meesseman, at the Draft party, Coach Thibault said she could be someone who may be someone not unlike Ann Wauters was in her prime.

Here's a link to a video with fan reaction of when Tayler Hill was drafted.

2. We have talked about whether Crystal Langhorne should be on the 2013 Mystics roster, but we have not talked too much about Monique Currie and Matee Ajavon. Since they were major parts of the 2012 team, and still remain on the roster right now, how do you think they fit into the short and long term plans of the team, considering that it’s likely that Tayler Hill will start over at least one of them this season?

Ed: Mike Thibault, again at the Draft Party said that both Currie and Ajavon will have to bring it in camp. He said this after Tayler Hill was drafted. Still I think that at least one of the two could be packaged as part of a deal in the near future. There still may be teams that could use Monique and/or Matee. Why not see if we can better our team (MYSTIC’s) by creating a bundle.

3. What move do you think has been the best decision that Coach Thibault has made so far in the offseason whether it is player movement or staff?

Ed: Best move overall has been Kia Vaughn's acquisition.

I also believe that non-moves were also as good as making moves. Not falling into the pressure of selecting Tianna Hawkins or Sugar Rodgers were the right calls. Some fans asked him why he didn't select them. Mike Thibault said that drafting Hawkins would make her a backup player and that she wouldn't have the best opportunity to succeed here given what he thought about Crystal and Kia. He believes that she will also have an opportunity to play in a better situation with the Seattle Storm. In fact, the first statement he gave to the fans after making Hill's selection was to say sorry that he mildly disappointed that he didn't pick Hawkins, but he made the right move for the Mystics.

Maybe I'm judging, but when I saw Tianna get drafted on TV, she seemed to be a bit glum because though she was drafted, it wasn't to her hometown team. That said, I agree with Coach Thibault that not having her here is the right move.

As for Rodgers, Coach Thibault simply believed that Hill is the better guard for this franchise. I am happy that Coach Thibault did not bow down for requests from some fans who would rather have Hawkins or Rodgers in DC.

4. Conversely, is there a decision that Coach Thibault should not have made during the offseason?

Ed: There aren't too many moves that I'm disappointed about, but I wish that he could have made a move to perhaps alter the core sooner as I mentioned before.

5. Natalie Novosel was the Mystics' lone rookie in 2012 and she didn't really get a chance to play very much, let alone get into a rhythm. What kind of a role do you see her having in 2013?

Ed: Well, the fact that Natalie was not a regular rotation player on a low performing team was a DECISION by the previous coaching regime. How can ANY player get his or her mind into the game, mentally or physically when that player plays two or three minutes at a time and she didn't even play 10 minutes a game last year. She should have had an opportunity to play 15 to 20 minutes per game last year to show what she can do and develop as a player. Hopefully Coach Thibault will give her that chance.

6. With teams that are building for future success like the Mystics, there seems to be a debate as to whether the team should go out and win as many games as they can now and go for the playoffs or whether they should continue to add assets and develop younger players for the future where they could contend for a longer period of time. Which side of this argument do you fall on?

Ed: Give the players an opportunity to gel and grow, while always looking for another piece of the puzzle. If the correct piece comes into the mix it could make the Mystics a exciting team to watch. Our fan base would grow with wins but it's not coming overnight. I believe they (the Mystics fans) are just waiting to see what "Coach T" will do with this team this year.

As far as next year’s draft, the 2014 class also appears to be one of the deepest drafts in several years. There will be players drafted in the 2nd and 3rd round that will compete for a 6th/7th man rotation or maybe a starting slot on a team.

Follow more on the Mystics' offseason in our StoryStream.

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