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The Mystics will have a tough time offering Elena Delle Donne, Emma Meesseman and Kristi Toliver max salaries this season

The specifics of the 2019 WNBA CBA are starting to trickle out. One of the realities is that they can’t offer maximum salaries to all of their top contributors.

Washington Mystics v Las Vegas Aces - Game Four
The Washington Mystics will not have sufficient cap room to give max salaries to each of their top three players from the 2019 WNBA season.
Photo by David Becker/NBAE via Getty Images

The Washington Mystics are entering the 2019-20 WNBA offseason as the defending league champions. That’s awesome!

But now, the hard work begins. To take a page out of the Nationals’ playoff slogcan, what can Washington do to ... “stay in the fight” for as long as possible?

What does the Mystics’ salary cap situation look like for 2020?

According to Howard Megdal of High Post Hoops, the Mystics have $526,362 in committed salaries for the 2020 season. Based on Chiney Ogwumike’s initial tweet, let’s assume that the Mystics have a cap of $1.3 million. That leaves Washington with about $750,000 of cap room, assuming that existing salaries aren’t increased to new league minimums.

However, Jenn Hatfield of High Post Hoops reported that Tianna Hawkins’ extension for 2020 includes a cap hit of $71,400. Aerial Powers also signed a one-year extension for 2020. Let’s assume that the cap hit is $100,000. That increases the Mystics’ salaries to about $697,762. Now, Washington only has about $600,000 of cap space, some of which must be used for a 2020 first round draft pick, if she ends up playing in D.C.

Since the maximum WNBA salary will be $215,000, it is unfeasible that they can offer Elena Delle Donne, Emma Meesseman AND Kristi Toliver the maximum salary, without trading other players away.

Ultimately, the Mystics will have to decide how much to offer each of the three. My thinking assumes that Meesseman will have to get whatever salary is required from a cored player. I assume Washington will core her. But which player(s) should get the maximum salary in your opinion? I don’t think any of the three will leave the Mystics organization if one of the three is not offered the max. But let us know your thoughts in the comments below.