2022 WNBA free agency: Tina Charles is top priority for Washington Mystics - Sports1
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2022 WNBA free agency: Tina Charles is top priority for Washington Mystics

For the Mystics, the 2021 season ended in disappointing fashion as they lost the last game of the season They were eliminated from the playoffs 83-77 on the final day of the regular season.

Mystics are better than their records suggest. They’ve been plagued by injuries all season, Elena Delle Donne has only played three games, and Alysha Clark’s season is over before it even begins. In addition, Emma Meesseman is performing overseas. So, the Mystics were far better on paper, and the team never had a real chance to stay healthy and reach their true potential. Unfortunately, they’ll be making some tough decisions about what to do, who to move on with, and who to leave without seeing the 2021 team go all out.

by number*

Free Agents (Type) (2021 Average Salary)

  • Tina Charles (unlimited) ($175,000)
  • Leilani Mitchell (unrestricted) ($123,500)
  • Theresa Plaisance (Unlimited) ($70,040)
  • Shatori Walker-Kimbrough (unlimited) ($24,330)
  • Shavonte Zellous (unlimited) ($70,040)
  • Myisha Hines-Allen (unrestricted) ($70,040)

Total average free agent salary: $532,950

Total Team Salary: $922,300

Cap space: $456,900


Leilani Mitchell
Photo by Josh Houston/NBAE Getty Images

The bad news is that the Mystics don’t have enough cap space to get everyone back. The good news is that they probably don’t need to get everyone back. In my opinion, the only player that has to be brought back is Tina Charles. The Mystics should do everything in their power to ensure Charles returns next season. She’s an elite player and one of the few bright spots in a dark season. They need her back.

Leilani Mitchell is another important player for the Mystics to decide. Will her work and roles match her salary? Will the Mystics be able to pay both Mitchell and Charles and still have cap space to fill the roster? It probably comes down to how much money and safety Mitchell wants, and whether the team is willing to agree. I think the odds of Mitchell returning are 50/50.

For me, other players are more or less consumables. If you want them, you can bring them back with similar deals, and if you’re going to move on, you can find similar players for the same type of money. When it comes to mystics, the only other X factor is Emma Meesseman. Will she be back in the WNBA this year, with Washington?looks They ended things on good terms, we knew Washington wanted her last year. If she does return, it could be an expensive contract that could complicate their salary cap constraints.

With a disappointing 2021 and six unrestricted free agents, the Mystics in 2022 may look very different from last year’s team. They have the talent and coaching to be a title contender, but they have to figure out who they need to bring back and who they need to replace so they can fine-tune this roster and bring it back to the top of the WNBA.

* All salary figures are from HerHoopStats

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