Last season, the Washington Mystics missed out on a playoff berth in the very last game on a tiebreaker with the New York Liberty after both teams went 12-20. During the offseason, the Mystics forgot to re-sign Tina Charles, who was the leading scorer in the WNBA in 2021 with 23.4 points per game.
Allowing Charles to leave in free agency is absolutely unconscionable from the Mystics organization. That move meant that Washington definitely needed to draft a center that can start right now. Fortunately, the Mystics had the #3 pick in the WNBA Draft after trading out of the #1 spot with Atlanta.
Round 1, Pick 3: Shakira Austin - C - Ole Miss - 6'5" (15.2 ppg, 9 reb, 1.2 spg, 2.1 bpg).
The Mystics definitely needed to add some defense because Washington allowed 83.6 ppg. Austin will be busy on defense, but she has proven that she can be a defensive presence the last two seasons at Ole Miss. Her offense is strictly in the post, but she will be a perfect complement alongside Elena Delle Donne and Myisha Hines-Allen.
Round 2, Pick 2: Christyn Williams - G - UConn - 5'11" (14.2 ppg, 3.4 rpg, 1.5 spg).
Williams was a mainstay at UConn for the past four seasons. She is able to score from three-point range, able to pull up in mid-range, and able to drive all the way to the rim. Unfortunately, she suffered a knee injury in practice that will sideline her for the season because she was going to see plenty of minutes off of the bench this season.
Selecting Austin was absolutely necessary for the Mystics because she gives Washington the chance to reach the WNBA Playoffs again. Williams will be back next season. Grade: B-.