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2018 WNBA Draft to be held in New York City, Mystics hold seventh pick

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Stewart W. Small

The WNBA Draft will be on April 12, 2018 in New York City at Nike’s New York headquarters. Here is a breakdown of what’s in store, as well as the Mystics’ general needs heading into this draft.

Draft Info

Date and Time: Thursday, April 12, 2018 at 7 p.m. ET

Where: Nike’s New York Headquarters at 855 6th Avenue in Manhattan. For those of you familiar (or not familiar) with Manhattan, it is located between 30th and 31st streets, adjacent to Koreatown and two blocks southwest of the Empire State Building.

TV/Streaming: First round is on ESPN, Second and Third rounds are on ESPN U. WatchESPN will stream it.

Mock Drafts

Here are some mock drafts on the web:

Why would Nike’s HQ host the draft? Isn’t Nike based in Oregon?

The WNBA’s headquarters is in New York City. Nike already launched new uniforms with every NBA team this season, but the WNBA teams still wore Adidas gear last summer. There’s a good chance that we could see the WNBA’s new uniforms on or around that date.

As for the second question, Nike’s Global HQ is in Beaverton, Oregon, but it opened a new office in New York last year which will have more direct oversight on operations in the Eastern United States.

Nike actually has two other major headquarters that are sort of like the New York office. One is in Shanghai, China for Chinese operations. The other HQ is in Hilversum, a town about 25 miles southeast of Amsterdam in the Netherlands. That office oversees operations in Europe.

When do the Mystics pick?

The Mystics hold the 7th, 19th, and 31st picks in the Draft. They did not acquire any new picks or trade any of their picks away as of the date of this post.

What are the Mystics’ needs?

The good news about the Mystics is that they don’t have a glaring positional weakness, even with Emma Meesseman out for this season and probably longer. But here are some things I’d want them to look into:

  • Acquire younger front court players - All of the Mystics’ rotational posts are seasoned veterans at this point. However, Latoya Sanders is now 31 and came off an Achilles injury while Elena Delle Donne is susceptible to Lyme Disease flare ups that have kept her from playing.
  • Acquire a younger point guard who can make threes - Kristi Toliver is certainly an upgrade over Ivory Latta and Natasha Cloud as a starting point guard. But Toliver is on the wrong side of 30, and now Liberty point guard Bria Hartley is quickly closing to Toliver’s level. Cloud could certainly develop a reliable three point shot and fill this role, but we’re also getting to the point where the Mystics have to decide whether Cloud is a long term fit for them. She is on the last year of her rookie contract this summer. Adding a point guard who can shoot better than Cloud is an insurance policy the Mystics should invest in.
  • Acquire shooters regardless of position - The Mystics hoped to be a deadly shooting team from three last year. They made the second most threes in 2017, but were third worst on the efficiency front. Maybe it was bad luck from injuries, but I was disappointed to see how their perimeter shooting performances were. Any player they draft should at a minimum, be effective from three.

Will we break down some prospects?

Yes, we’ll take a look at some prospects who should be available in the mid first round when it’s the Mystics’ turn to pick as we head toward April 12.