Our last team to cover in our WNBA Free Agency outlooks are the Washington Mystics. The Mystics have made a playoff appearance three years straight although each time they have been knocked out in the first round. They finished the 2015 season in fourth place in the Eastern Conference with a record of 18-16 and faced the top seed New York Liberty in the first round of the playoffs. In what was one of the most exciting series in the 2015 playoffs the Liberty won 2-1 and sent the Mystics home. Head coach Mike Thibault has really made his mark on this franchise when he took over in 2013 after leaving the Connecticut Sun. He is the all time winningest coach in the WNBA and has brought his winners mentality to a franchise that has struggled in that department. With a promising group of players the Mystics will again be in playoff contention next season.
There are only two free agents on the Mystics roster this year and they are both unrestricted. Kara Lawson and Latoya Pringle-Sanders will both be up for grabs this off season. Lawson who came to her hometown team after winning a championship with the Sacramento Monarchs and being a key player for the Connecticut Sun has battled injury since coming to Washington. This past season she missed a total of 12 games and the season before she sat out six. In what will be her 14th season in the WNBA if she decides to return, Kara Lawson brings leadership and experience. In addition, she is also a capable scorer where throughout most of her career she has averaged at least 40% shooting percentage from the three point line. I don’t see Lawson joining another franchise this offseason, if anything, she will finish her career a Washington Mystic.
The Mystics will also be making a decision on Latoya Pringle. Washington has had the rights to Pringle for several years but it wasn’t until the 2015 season that she decided to join the team. She’s actually only played four seasons in the WNBA after being drafted in 2008. In her first year with the Mystics she averaged 5 points and almost 7 rebounds in 18 minutes per game. Pringle has shown herself to be one of the best forward/centers in Europe where she holds a Turkish passport. She is a great shot blocker and has good moves around the basket. She is also capable of knocking down mid range shots. If the Mystics can lock her up I think they should definitely go for it. She only competed in 23 games last season for Washington and a full season with the team could make the difference. Other teams will be after a player with her size and skill so there may be a bidding contest to sign her.
The Mystics have their inside covered with Dolson and Messeman holding down the block. With nothing lost when Kia Vaughn enters the game. Natasha Cloud, who was a rookie last season, started 22 games for the Mystics. Tayler Hill who returned from giving birth to her son the previous season will have to step up this season and make her mark on this team and the league. Bria Hartley, who struggled with an injury for part of the season where she missed 9 games will return healthy and ready to compete for a spot in the starting lineup. Those players in addition to the Latta should again compete for a Eastern Conference Championship however I think Washington needs to add a piece or two that can complement what they already have on the roster. What do you think Washington needs to do to improve from last season? Do they have what it takes? Will they sign a free agent this off season? Let us know.