Washington Mystics 2024-25 Season Preview (5-4-24)

By: Jaden Golding

Headline Photo Credit: Geoff Burke-USA Today

Washington D.C.- Entering the new 2024 season, the Washington Mystics are looking for a fresh new start and look to the team. The big headline surrounding the squad will be all-star forward Elena Delle Donne stepping away from basketball and will be missing the entire season. Now the question that remains to be seen is can second-year head coach Eric Thibault help this young core develop and lead them into the postseason once again.

May 19, 2023; Washington, District of Columbia, USA; Washington Mystics guard Natasha Cloud (9) celebrates with Mystics forward Elena Delle Donne (11) and Mystics guard Brittney Sykes (15) in the fourth quarter at Entertainment & Sports Arena. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

The 2023 season saw Washington finish 19-21 and fell to the New York Liberty 2-0 in the first round of the playoffs. It was a tough overall season that saw the team deal with various injuries to Delle Donne, Shakira Austin, Ariel Atkins, Kristi Toliver, and others not being able to have a healthy overall roster for the majority of the season. The addition of veteran guard Brittney Skyes provided wonders for the team as she averaged 15.9 points, 3.8 assists, 5.0 rebounds, 2.1 steals, and most importantly started all 40 games. Washington will look for that production from her this season as well. 

Apr 15, 2024; Brooklyn, NY, USA; Aaliyah Edwards poses with WNBA commissioner Cathy Engelbert after she is selected with the number six overall pick to the Washington Mystics in the 2024 WNBA Draft at Brooklyn Academy of Music. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Key Additions:

Guards Karlie Samuelson and Julie Valvloo

Forward Aaliyah Edwards, Emily Engstler, and Didi Richards 

Center Stefanie Dolson

Key Departures:

Guards Natasha Cloud and Kristi Toliver

Forward Tianna Hawkins 

Last Year’s Stats:

Teams points per game- 80.5 (8th)

Opp points per game- 80.9 (5th)

Offensive Rating- 101.5 (7th)

Defensive Rating- 102.0 (4th)

2p%- .476 (8th)

3p%- .336 (8th)

Ft- .823 (3rd)

Turnovers- 12.2 (2nd)

Player Points per game leader-  (Brittney Skyes) 15.9 

Player Assists per game leader- (Natasha Cloud) 6.2

Player Rebounds per game leader- (Tianna Hawkins) 5.0

Player Steals per game leader- (Brittney Skyes) 2.1


May 19, 2023; Washington, District of Columbia, USA; Washington Mystics center Shakira Austin (0) shoots the ball as New York Liberty center Han Xu (21) defends in the fourth quarter at Entertainment & Sports Arena. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

The style of play will look different without previous main contributors Della Donne and Cloud. I expect the Mystics to play more of a multiple contributors type style, getting scoring from everyone. The young players will look to veteran players who’ve established themselves here such as Atkins, Skyes, Shatori Walker-Kimbrough, and Myshia Hines-Allen as the leaders on the team. They have a lot of players who can space the floor with at least 7 players on the roster who shot at 35% or higher from beyond the arc. Expect third-year center Shakira Austin to leap in her production, due to injuries she was held to only 17 games last season, when healthy she helps clog up the paint against opposing offenses, can score inside, and provides the Mystics with a good rebounding presence. Rookie Aaliyah Edwards can bring another great post presence as the Mystics struggled in rebounding finishing tenth in the league last year and forms a young dynamic 1-2 punch down low with Austin. Edwards was highly efficient in the paint in college, can pop a 15-20 foot jumper, and can pass the ball well at her position. Overall, this is a different Mystics team than we’ve seen in recent years, with younger players and ladies who are looking to let their games do the talking on the court. There will be many players who will step up into more expanded roles looking to establish themselves. 

The Mystics’ first regular season game kicks off at home on May 14th in a rematch of the first round of the playoffs from last season against the Sabrina Ionescu and Breanna Stewart-led New York Liberty at 7 p.m.