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WNBA Free Agency 2021: Tianna Hawkins signs two-year contract with Dream

The forward played in Washington from 2014-20 and was part of their 2019 championship team.

Washington Mystics v Atlanta Dream
Tianna Hawkins has now moved on from the Washington Mystics. This move was not unexpected.
Photo by Ned Dishman/NBAE via Getty Images

UPDATE: The move is official. According to Her Hoops Stats, Hawkins will have a two-year contract paying her $140,000 this season and $144,000 next season. The Washington Mystics would have found it difficult to re-sign her at that rate.

Atlanta now has about $33,663 in cap room remaining. This means that they will have to cut some salaries to sign their first round draft pick. In the original version of the article, I made the assumption that the Dream would “save” cap space for the third pick.

The original article is below and is clarified to show the change.

On Thursday, Tianna Hawkins signed a multi-year contract with the Atlanta Dream, according to Aryeh Schwartz of WInsider. Hawkins is the second unrestricted free agent from the Washington Mystics’ 2020 roster to leave the team, following Aerial Powers last week.

The move is not unexpected. This was because Washington entered free agency with approximately $795,260 to sign six or seven players. After signing Alysha Clark to a two-year contract at $183,000 per season and LaToya Sanders to a contract of $117,000, they now have $495,260 to sign four to five players, most of it expected to go to Tina Charles and Natasha Cloud. Whatever amount is left will be held for Emma Meesseman if she decides to return after Belgium’s tournaments in Women’s EuroBasket and the Olympics.

In other words, the Mystics just don’t have the cap room to keep Hawkins.

Hawkins made about $71,400 last season and this signing indicated that she wanted to get a better payday, though no reports on her new salary were disclosed yet. But now that WNBA cap figures are available from Her Hoop Stats, we can have a better idea of what the range is.

The Dream had only about $173.663 to sign a player, but $70,040 is presumably reserved for their first round pick, No.3 overall. That leaves Atlanta a maximum amount of only about $100,000 to sign Hawkins based on Her Hoop Stats’ current figures, assuming they deliberately save that space. However, since the first round pick (or any rookie) hasn’t been signed yet, Hawkins could still get a salary well above $100,000. In that case, Atlanta will have to shed salary before the beginning of next season if they are above the salary cap.

Hawkins came to the Mystics in 2014 in a draft day trade where she and Bria Hartley, the No. 7 overall pick in that draft came to Washington from the Seattle Storm in exchange for Crystal Langhorne. Hawkins played for Washington in six of the next seven seasons, missing the 2015 season due to the birth of her son. Throughout her career, Hawkins has become a solid, steady veteran who was a reliable rebounding and three-point shooting presence.

Last season, she averaged 8.5 points and 3.5 rebounds per game while playing in 17 of Washington’s 22 regular season matches in the WNBA’s Bradenton, Fla, bubble.

I wish the Mystics could have kept Hawkins, but I also didn’t think she was gong to return given Washington’s cap situation. Thank you for representing the DMV Tianna!