Washington Mystics Draft Preview
Scott Cunningham/NBAE/Getty Images
First 3 Selections in 2014
Last 3 First Round Picks (Pick, Year)
Areas of Improvement
Last year, the Washington Mystics fell one draft pick short of nabbing a member of the “Three to See” with the No. 4 pick in the Draft. The Mystics had just hired Mike Thibault as the new head coach and were ready for an improved season.
Then, Washington went on to make the playoffs for the first time since 2010, but fell short of advancing to the Finals after losing to Atlanta in the Eastern Conference Semi-Finals. Coach Thibault, the winningest coach in WNBA history, was later named the 2013 WNBA Coach of the Year. Now the Mystics hope the winning continues for the 2014 season.
“The first goal we put on our board is to get better every day,” said Thibault. “Obviously we’d like to get back to the playoffs and go farther—but just being more consistent everyday than we were last year. I thought we kind of played in streaks last year—players getting used to me, me getting used to them—kind of believing in what we’re doing. We’ll have a better jumping off point to start training camp this year in that they know what to expect from me and vice versa.”
So, with the sixth pick in the 2014 NBA Draft, Thibault hopes to fill some holes that can help the team get better every day—and with multiple needs, that player could be any position.
“Probably because of where we draft, I’m going to be in a situation where I take whoever I think is the best basketball player,” Thibault stated. “Because we have needs throughout our team, it’s not necessarily going to be by position.”
With the middle pick in the first round, the Mystics still have multiple players to choose from.
“I think there’s a consensus that there’s a group of eight right now that are a little bit above everybody else—not that somebody else couldn’t crack that group...I think it’s a draft that has some depth to it. Throughout the first round, people are going to get good players. You might not have the same household names this year (as last year), but you’re going to have players down at the ninth and tenth pick who could help teams right away.”
With the playoff experience that last year’s core group gained and leaders in Ivory Latta, Crystal Langhorne, Kia Vaughn and newly acquired Kara Lawson, this year’s rookie class will have a good foundation to start the season in hopes of grabbing a Finals spot.
2013 (top 3 picks)
4. Tayler Hill
17. Nadirah McKenith
19. Emma Meeseman
8. Natalie Novosel
10. LaSondra Barrett
26. Anjale Barrett
11. Victoria Dunlap
23. Karima Christmas
35. Sarah Krnjic
1. Ivory Latta (13.9)
2. Crystal Langhorne (12.0)
3. Monique Currie (10.5)
1. Crystal Langhorne (7.20)
2. Kia Vaughn (5.20)
3. Monique Currie (5.00)
1. Ivory Latta (4.4)
2. Matee Ajavon (2.9)
3. Monique Currie, Tayler Hill (1.5)