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The Mercury acquire Kahleah Copper for the No. 3 pick in the 2024 WNBA Draft. That puts Elena Delle Donne and the Mystics in a potentially tough spot.

The Washington Mystics cored Elena Delle Donne, but moving her to a contender at this point will be harder than most expected.

Washington Mystics v Chicago Sky Photo by Quinn Harris/Getty Images

Trades in any sports league don’t just affect the teams involved in the transaction. They also affect what other teams could do.

Today, the Phoenix Mercury acquired Kahleah Copper from the Chicago Sky, according to Khristina Williams of Girls Talk Sports TV.

To get the WNBA All-Star, 2021 Finals MVP and 2016 Washington Mystics first round pick, the Mercury traded Michaela Onyenwere, Brianna Turner and four draft picks, including the No. 3 pick in the 2024 WNBA Draft.

Before today, it seemed like Mystics forward Elena Delle Donne would likely be a good fit for the Phoenix Mercury, given that she reportedly wanted to play there or the Las Vegas Aces. The comments from that post indicated that if the Mystics were to trade Delle Donne to the Mercury, it would make sense that Washington would receive the No. 3 pick from Phoenix.

But now ... that plan’s in the trash can.

It seems like the Mystics made a savvy move that they cored Delle Donne. Keeping her ensures that they would receive some combination of players and/or draft picks in a sign-and-trade scenario. However, it looks like Washington could be left holding the bag if and when the dust settles.

If Delle Donne decides that she wants to play for the Aces or not play at all, Washington could be left in a position of weakness when the dust settles. Alternatively, Delle Donne may just decide to remain in Washington and play. And of course, she could sit out from the WNBA until things change. Kareem Copeland of The Washington Post summed things up nicely here.

What do you think will happen to Delle Donne and the Mystics in the coming days? Let us know in the comments below.