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2021 WNBA Draft Preview: Washington Mystics sitting this one out

The Washington Mystics don’t have any pressing needs but could look to sign an undrafted center to compete in training camp.

Washington Mystics v Phoenix Mercury - Game One
Leilani Mitchell works her way around a screen against the Phoenix Mercury.
Photo by Julio Aguilar/Getty Images

The Washington Mystics won the WNBA championship in 2019 before losing many key players to opt outs prior to the 2020 bubble season during which they went 9-13 and lost in the first round of the playoffs. They hope to be back to being one of the best teams in the league this year.

Picks: none

The Washington Mystics do not have any scheduled picks in the 2021 WNBA Draft. Their trade to get Tina Charles prior to the 2020 season made sure of that. Charles is a former MVP and, at 32, is still a superstar in the league. Her addition makes Washington a contender when placed alongside two-time MVP Elena Delle Donne. The team also has All-WNBA Second Team talent Myisha Hines-Allen, sharpshooter Ariel Atkins and an emerging star point guard in Natasha Cloud. That will likely be the Mystics’ starting lineup and they will sorely miss offseason acquisition Alysha Clark who is out for the season with a Lisfranc injury.

With all of the talent Washington has and considering they were the champs the last time everyone in the league was on the court, they shouldn’t feel bad that they don’t have any picks in this draft. The Las Vegas Aces may be looking better than they are right now while the Chicago Sky have also put together something special, but the Mystics should be in contention for a title at the end of the day.

It is possible that the Mystics could trade into Thursday’s draft, but head coach Mike Thibault told The Next that he is “thrilled” to not have any picks this year, indicating that they probably won't. They already have plenty of players signed to training camp contracts who will compete in camp and can always sign more training camp players who go undrafted.

The Mystics have a well-rounded starting lineup and then have two guards, Leilani Mitchell and Kiara Leslie, as well as forward Erica McCall under contract. Another forward, former Finals MVP Emma Meesseman, could join the team later in the year after playing overseas. Could the Mystics look to bring in an undrafted center to compete with Theresa Plaisance, Jillian Alleyne and potentially Alaina Coates for the fifth bench spot in training camp?

If that’s what they want, they should hope for Janelle Bailey of UNC to go undrafted. It’s a long shot, but she would be a steal for the Mystics.