WNBA Draft 2016 Preview: Washington Mystics

2015 Record:
18-16; lost in first round of Playoffs

Key Offseason Moves:
None

Last Year’s Draft Picks:
1st round/8th overall: Ally Malott
2nd round/15th overall: Natasha Cloud
3rd round/32nd overall: Marica Gajic

This Year’s Draft Picks:
1st round/7th overall
2nd round/19th overall
3rd round/31st overall

Team Needs:
It’s all about stability when it comes to the Mystics. Washington has made the Playoffs in each of the three seasons since Mike Thibault took over as head coach/general manager and the team returns all of its key pieces from last season, including 2015 All Stars Stefanie Dolson and Emma Meesseman.

Traditionally one of the stingiest defensive teams, the Mystics — who averaged 73.8 points per game last year (10th in the WNBA) — might look to select an explosive offensive player to add to their overall attack. Washington’s need for a scorer, however, may be a bit overblown; the Mystics played at the league’s second-slowest pace in 2015 (72.6 possessions per 40 minutes) and countered by shooting the three-ball well. With more-than-capable bigs and wings that can stretch the floor, the Mystics may be stronger offensively than numbers would suggest.

With the No. 7 pick in the first round, the Mystics could just be looking for best player available. That said, would anybody surprised if that player was a stout defender, ready to contribute to Thibault’s defense scheme sooner rather than later?