On Thursday, the WNBA announced that Atlanta Dream guard Betnijah Laney won the 2020 Most Improved Player of the Year award. She narrowly beat out Washingon Mystics forward Myisha Hines-Allen to win the honor.
Hines-Allen averaged 17.0 points, 8.9 rebounds and 2.6 assists per game for Washington this season in a year where Elena Delle Donne missed the season due to injury and coronavirus concerns and newly-acquired center Tina Charles also missed the season due to coronavirus concerns.
Along the way, the Mystics were 9-13, but Hines-Allen led Washington to a four-game win streak to close out the season, and give them a berth in the playoffs. Hines-Allen’s efforts in September earned her the Eastern Conference Player of the Month award earlier this week. In addition, Hines-Allen also received two fifth place WNBA MVP votes.
Last season, Hines-Allen wasn’t just a reserve. She hardly played at all, averaging 2.3 points in about 7.8 minutes per game. She only made one appearance, a three minute stretch in the 2019 WNBA Playoffs where the Mystics would go on to win the championship.
The Mystics face a lot of questions in the frontcourt this offseason on how to rebuild their roster for the 2021 team. Charles is a free agent and was acquired in exchange for multiple draft picks. And Emma Meesseman played poorly this season in a supermax contract year. It doesn’t seem like the Mystics can keep both and pay them too.
That said, Hines-Allen will only be entering her fourth WNBA season in 2021, and Washington can use an option to pay her at a rookie level discount. Regardless of what happens with the veterans, I’m sure that we’ll see Hines-Allen wearing a Mystics jersey next season and for years to come.