I am a big fan of youth movements when it comes to rebuilding teams. It's really exciting to see teams "throw the young players in the pool" and see what happens. Often times, teams that do so will lose a lot of games. However, the younger players who play extended minutes could develop themselves into major pieces on an up-and-coming team. We have seen this happen with teams like the Tulsa Shock do it over the past several seasons. I'm quite optimistic on other teams like the Connecticut Sun and Seattle Storm as well.
The Washington Mystics appeared to be heading into a similar direction in 2014 when seven players were rookies or sophomores. In 2015, it appeared that there will be six or seven rookies, sophomores, and third year players on their team regardless of whatever moves they ended up making. That still holds true today.
But in the span of a few weeks in February, any cautious optimism I had about their young core went away.
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Mystics sign Kia Vaughn to an extension
The Washington Mystics have re-signed their starting center to a longer term deal to solidify their veteran core which includes Ivory Latta, Armintie Herrington, and Kara Lawson.
More on the Mystics
I have no idea why it makes much sense to keep most of the core veterans on a .500-ish squad over two seasons together. I also don't see how the Mystics can suddenly get over the hump of one-and-done playoff appearances. It's not like Ivory Latta and Kia Vaughn suffered injuries and missed many games during a .500 season. In fact, the Mystics were a 17-17 team in 2013 and a 16-18 team in 2014 as a healthy squad in large part due to injuries to multiple WNBA teams.
If history gives us any indication on what will probably happen, the Mystics are doomed for the "Treadmill of Mediocrity." They will miss out on the top picks of the 2016 WNBA Draft because they win too many games this summer. In a couple years or so, this team will have to start all over again, because their veterans will fall further behind than starting cores for other teams. Meanwhile, their younger players remain underdeveloped over the next several seasons because of a lack of playing time in their potential full-time roles.
But that's only one side of the story.
There are others of you who believe that what the Mystics have done these past few weeks was the right thing to do. Perhaps you think that the Mystics still don't have enough talent to contend. Or maybe you think that this team could really be the WNBA's version of the 2014-15 Atlanta Hawks NBA team: A squad of non-heralded draft picks who are playing extremely good basketball as a unit.
I have written a lot about what the "pro-tanking" or "Play all the youngsters" side for awhile when it comes to the Mystics. But I want to know why you feel that they aren't headed in the wrong direction in more detail. Really, I want to see if you can convince me why the Mystics aren't simply trying to just be mediocre.
Tell me why the Mystics should go for wins in 2015 and not put themselves in a position to potentially draft Breanna Stewart or Jewell Loyd in 2016. Tell me why the Mystics can win big without a superstar despite the fact that every WNBA championship team has had at least one on their roster if not more. The best way you can do so is by writing a FanPost. Many have been written on numerous women's basketball topics in the last several weeks.
It won't be easy to convince me. But I am open to and look forward to reading your ideas.