If there was motivation for the Washington Mystics to make a playoff run despite missing four starters, including 2019 WNBA MVP Elena Delle Donne and multi-time All-Star Tina Charles, it was that they had no first round pick in the 2021 WNBA Draft. That’s because the Mystics traded all of their 2021 picks to get Charles, whose contract ended this season with her not playing a single game due to a medical exemption for coronavirus concerns.
The Mystics traded their 2021 first and second round draft picks to the Dallas Wings in a three-team deal last April. At the time, the trade made sense because Charles would have formed a juggernaut frontcourt with Delle Donne and 2019 WNBA Finals MVP Emma Meesseman.
However, as we saw, that frontcourt was never meant to be with the pandemic raging. Delle Donne and Charles never played. Meesseman declined significantly, partly due to a shoulder injury.
Anyway, if the Mystics missed the playoffs, which seemed inevitable a couple weeks ago, that pick would have still went to the Wings. And it would have been a bummer if that pick ended up being the No. 1 selection of next year’s draft.
Thankfully, we don’t have to worry about that now since the Mystics made the playoffs. But they are still trading that pick away, which is now fifth overall. Dallas, who swept the Mystics in the regular season and a tiebreaker, remained lottery bound, so their original pick will be somewhere in the Top-4 after the 2021 WNBA Draft Lottery.
It still hurts that the Mystics gave up an early pick in next year’s draft, especially if Charles doesn’t return to Washington for 2021. But at least Myisha Hines-Allen stepped up big time and the Mystics won’t be gifting the Wings with another potential top selection in next year’s draft.