Washington Mystics 2023 Training Camp Preview
The 2023 Washington Mystics are looking to build on the success of the 2022 season with a roster that did not change much. This article will breakdown the projected starting lineup and potential bench for the season.
The winningest head coach, Mike Thibault, will not be on the sidelines this upcoming season. His successor, Eric Thibault, has now moved up to head coach. While some might disagree about the decision, the biggest focus is on the roster.
The Washington Mystics’ core should show growth and continuity to be successful this season. The only significant pieces the Washington Mystics lost to free agency were Alyssa Clark and Elizabeth Williams. But the Mystics still have six players from the 2019 championship season, with some new additions and even some returns.
There are many questions about this roster that still loom. Could the Mystics have injected some youth with the 2023 4th overall pick (Stephanie Soares) before trading with Dallas? Former head coach Mike Thibault stated the Mystics need shooting. Did free agency address that? With the core roster for the Mystics, how can the newly appointed head coach, Eric Thibault, get the most out of a potential championship roster with even better strides than last year?
2023 Core Roster
Elena Della Donne
Free agency additions
Brittany Sykes (a protected veteran) signed via free agency.
Kristi Toliver (2nd tenure) signed via free agency. Kristi was a huge piece in the 2019 championship season; however, with an unprotected veteran contract, she should still make the team.
Amanda B. Zahri (via trade for 2nd round picks) after her contract was suspended by the Sparks (Derek Fisher) in 2022. Before the suspension, Amanda averaged 9.2 points and 5.1 rebounds per game in 2021.
Stephanie Jones (a reserved free agent) was part of the opening day roster in 2022 for the Mystics. The former Maryland Terrapin is looking to call DC home this time around.
Li Meng (Training Camp), a participant in the FIBA games representing team China, averaged 16.0 points per game, which was the fourth-highest average, and she also shot 40.7% during the FIBA tournament.
Alisha Jenkins (Training Camp) was part of bubble season three years ago but has had tremendous success overseas.
Evina Westbrook (training camp), a former 2nd round pick in the 2022 draft selected by the Seattle Storm but who did not make the roster but signed with the Minnesota Lynx within two months, Three 10-day contracts later, Evina found a home with the Mystics for the remainder of the 2022 season.
Jazmine Jones (training camp), the former 12th overall pick in the 2020 draft by the New York Liberty, has not seen enough traction in the league. A WNBA All-Rookie member. Last season, Connecticut and Washington played only eight combined games between both teams.
WNBA 2023 Draftees
Elena Tsineke was drafted as the 20th overall pick in the 2nd round. General manager Mike Thibault did state in the post-draft that her road to making the team is going to be a tough one.
Txell Alarcón, drafted as the 32nd overall pick, could be a long-term developmental pick for the Mystics. But history has shown that third-rounders in the WNBA do not find a roster spot.
2023 Washington Mystics Prediction Roster:
Prediction of the Starting 5
PG: Natasha Cloud
SG: Brittney Sykes
SF: Ariel Atkins
PF: Elena Della Donne
C: Shakira Austin
Prediction of the Bench
6. Shatori Walker-Kimbrough
7. Myisha Hines-Allen
8. Amanda B. Zahri
9. Tianna Hawkins
10. Stephanie Jones
11. Evina Westbrook