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The Mystics stick with veterans over youth with their 2020 roster. That’s what they need.

The Washington Mystics are looking to defend their 2019 WNBA championship with most of their core returning. That left them little room for adding draft picks.

New York Liberty v Washington Mystics
The Washington Mystics already have what they need in the 2020 WNBA season. After all, Tina Charles was the home run addition they acquired from free agency.
Photo by Ned Dishman/NBAE via Getty Images

On Monday, the Washington Mystics announced their 2020 WNBA roster by cutting their draft picks, Jaylyn Agnew and Sug Sutton. The roster now stands at 11 players.

WNBA rules allow for rosters to have as many as 12 players, but the Mystics can only have 11 players because of salary cap issues, General Manager and Head Coach Mike Thibault said after the announcement.

Though all teams have a $1.3 million salary cap this season, Elena Delle Donne and Emma Meesseman are on supermax deals of $215,000 each. Newly acquired center Tina Charles has a large contract herself at $175,000. Nearly half of the cap will be committed to three players.

When asked specifically about Agnew and Sutton, Thibault noted that “It’s very tough to cut without seeing players” but acknowledged that the coronavirus pandemic hasn’t helped.

The cuts had to be made by today because WNBA players will start receiving their 2020 season checks on June 1.

Ultimately, the Mystics are sticking with their veterans into 2020, and that’s the right thing to do.

Washington is looking to be the first WNBA team to repeat as champions since the Los Angeles Sparks did in 2001 and 2002. The core of the team, minus Kristi Toliver and plus Tina Charles, is back. Most core players are also in their collective primes, meaning, they are in the later 20s to early 30s.

After watching how well last year’s team played, I don’t see a reason to add rookies, especially late draft picks, even if the Mystics had the cap room to sign one.

With the 2020 roster finalized, it’s time for us to (hopefully) see this team get on the court. There is still no official word on when the WNBA season will start, but like the NBA, the league is looking into having a season soon.