After firing General Manager and Head Coach Trudi Lacey shortly after their worst two season stretch in franchise history, the Washington Mystics hire former Connecticut Sun head coach Mike Thibault to replace her. Since then, the team’s long term future and upside have improved considerably with the acquisition of a new presumptive starting backcourt of rookie Tayler Hill and former Shock guard Ivory Latta, as well as new low post players such as Kia Vaughn and Quanitra Hollingsworth.
S.L. Price of Sports Illustrated has a piece in this week’s magazine about how Robert Griffin III is rejuvenating the D.C. sports scene, in which football is unquestionably king.
But with the Capitals undergoing a rebuild to become a perennial playoff team, the Nationals doing well, and now the Redskins giving fans like Gwen Brock “the most hope I’ve felt in ten years”, the Washington Mystics are the one team that is still looking to find its way. But with the opportunity to find a new coach and general manager as well as a hope for a top draft pick, there’s plenty of reason for hope to turn things around.
However, while there might be a temptation to see this new draft prospect as a RG III-type savior, thewiz06 suggests they need a plan more.
Regardless of who the Mystics pick, she will be a foundational piece and good chance that she’d be the franchise player as early as day one, not unlike John Wall was with the Wizards in 2010. However, to assume that this player would have to win games immediately with little talent around her compared with other teams in the leagues is foolish.
This ties with earlier points, but while a lot will be expected from her, she still will need complementary players who can amplify her strengths and cover her weaknesses, and this will help improve the team’s record in the long run.
The Mystics had more flaws last season than one player can hope to fix. So as big a day as this is for the Mystics, the bigger question for this offseason will remain how they plan to build a winning unit for the long-term, regardless of whether they get the first pick.