Earlier this week, the Washington Mystics announced that they suspended Swedish point guard Klara Lundquist for the 2021 WNBA season. The team announced the move in a press release on Monday where they also announced that they waived training camp invitee Blanca Millan.
We have some @WashMystics movement. Per the team, they have waived guard Blanca Millan and also suspended Klara Lundquist for the 2021 season. Lundquist was signed by the Mystics on April 30, 2021.— Arielle (Ari) Chambers (@ariivory) May 3, 2021
Here's the updated training camp roster as of today pic.twitter.com/7t8O6y90Br
After reaching out to the Mystics organization, Lundquist’s suspension was not unexpected and she will not be with the team for the 2021 WNBA season. That said, we learned that the Mystics still have her rights and are treating her like a “draft pick.” Lundquist is just 21 years old and is the same age as most college juniors. She would be 22 next year and be the same age as most college seniors and WNBA rookies.
It’s also important to note that the word “suspension” is just the WNBA’s term of saying that a player is not getting paid and that her team still holds her rights when she returns. The league is just using the very literary definition of “suspension,” which means a temporary removal or withholding of a contract or other things. It can be a punitive term, though I think the league should use a different term for these situations.
Anyway, though Washington won’t have Lundquist this season, likely in part due to her native Sweden participating in Women’s EuroBasket 2021, the move makes sense for the team’s future outlook.
Currently, Natasha Cloud and Leilani Mitchell are Washington’s options at point guard. Mitchell’s contract expires after this season and she is also going to be 36 years old later this year. Assuming Mitchell doesn’t come back for 2022, that could open up a spot for Lundquist. In addition, Lundquist would likely be on a minimum contract which will help their salary cap situation.
Though she won’t be in Washington this year, I look forward to seeing how Lundquist performs in Women’s EuroBasket nevertheless. You never know if she is Washington’s next diamond in the rough!