The 2023 WNBA Draft will be tonight at 7 p.m. ET on ESPN in New York City. The Washington Mystics hold the fourth overall and last lottery pick in the draft. This isn’t because they missed the playoffs. Rather, it is because they swapped picks with the Atlanta Dream as part of the 2022 trade. The pick Washington actually holds was originally the Los Angeles Sparks’, just to add another layer to this.
Since the Mystics were 22-14 last season and had the league’s best defense, I’m not too worried about the team needing a starter-level player. I expect Natasha Cloud, Ariel Atkins, Brittney Sykes, Elena Delle Donne and Shakira Austin to play the most minutes. The Mystics don’t have gaping holes that put them at risk of missing the playoffs barring injury.
That said, the Mystics can use more depth in a couple key positions. First, Washington needs a backup point guard. With the departure of Rui Machida, they will need someone who can distribute the ball well, but also look for her shot. Sykes isn’t a natural point guard and Machida wasn’t an assertive enough shooter.
Second, Washington could use more depth at forward. With Alysha Clark moving on, there is no clear small forward. Perhaps the Mystics could have a three-guard lineup with Cloud, Sykes and Atkins for stretches, but they still need more height.
Whoever they pick in the first round, my hope is that this player is a solid three point shooter. Washington was 10th in three point percentage last season.
It’s unclear what direction the Mystics will go in with their first round pick. But for a team that is coming off a playoff appearance, that isn’t a bad thing at all.