Mailbag: Why can’t the Mystics draft the Bueckers?

Thanks for the questions for the December mailbag. The first questions are here, and we’ll have more of your questions tomorrow. Thank you!

There are more female college basketball players leaving early, but not at the same rate as their male counterparts. Will the Mystics be able to draft Paige Bueckers in 2022? (several emails)


There are two age limits for WNBA rookies. Any female college basketball player, regardless of her FIBA ​​nationality, must be at least 22 years old in the calendar year of the draft, or at least four years of high school. Bueckers is a college basketball player and was born October 20, 2001. She will be 21 in calendar year 2022, so she is not eligible no matter how well she performs in her second season in Connecticut. Bueckers could declare herself early for the 2023 WNBA Draft if she so chooses.

While WNBA offers a higher level of play than college, Bueckers could make more money with it NIL with Gatorade (and maybe others) as a college basketball player representing UConn and as a WNBA rookie for the Mystics (or any team) in 2023. That’s because women’s college basketball always has a plus. mainstream than the WNBA, and that’s when those players, even future WNBA superstars remain the most marketable. So it’s possible that Bueckers will only play all four years given that she is now able to cash in on her fame.

As most of you know, Emma Meesseman was drafted by the Mystics in 2013 when she was just 19 when she was drafted. This is because she is classified as an “international” player, who must be at least 20 years old in the calendar year of the draft. In addition, this player must NEVER have played college girls’ basketball. Meesseman turned 20 on May 13, 2013 and has never played college basketball, so she was able to play in the WNBA at age 20 for that reason.

Based on the current draft rules, the Mystics can pick any senior female varsity basketball player, any female varsity basketball player who turns 22 in calendar year 2022 that declares early, or a International player who has never played in college who turns 20 in calendar year 2022.

When will the FIBA ​​Women’s World Cup Qualifying tickets go out? Will this be the perfect time for the Mystics to woo Emma Meesseman because the tournament is being held in Washington? (several emails, messages)

USA Basketball has yet to officially name the venue for the United States, Belgium, Russia and Puerto Rico team. They hope it will be done by the end of this month or early next year. That said, it is likely the Entertainment and Sports Arena, which FIBA ​​has said in other releases.

When it comes to Meesseman’s return to DC, it’s best that we Mystics fans see his return as both a “Welcome” and a “Farewell”. I don’t see her coming back to WNBA because of the Belgian national women’s basketball team standing in the world as one of the best.

The Cats have grown into a world power over the past few years, thanks in large part to Meesseman and we’ve talked about that at length here. And their international engagements (especially at the continental level) occur during the WNBA season. Unless the Belgian Cats do a full faceplant in February (and I don’t see them losing all of their games), the Cats will go to the World Cup, and that will affect any availability of Meesseman.

Most importantly, general manager and head coach Mike Thibault was not optimistic about his return, for many of the same reasons I have already mentioned.

And we haven’t even reached their salary cap situation yet!

But then again, in summary, I don’t think Meesseman is coming back to the WNBA – at least while she’s in her prime. So when World Cup qualifying tickets become available, get them quickly so you can see her one last time in Washington.

What does your team think about what to do about Thomas Bryant’s contract going forward? He is in the final year of his contract and could attract some big deals in the offseason. Do we let it work, resign it or exchange it at maturity to avoid losing it for nothing? (Evan Milberg, Twitter)

I actually interviewed Todd Ramasar, Bryant’s agent last week, but I didn’t get a chance to write an article about it because there were a lot of games going on. But in short, Ramasar said Bryant’s recovery is going as planned. And more importantly, before a player (not just Bryant) gets worried about his contractual situation, the most important thing is to get back in shape and get back on the pitch.

It’s possible Bryant could get a contract that pays well over $ 10 million per season in 2022-23 and beyond. But first, as Ramasar said, he needs to play games and show what he can add to center position besides Daniel Gafford and Montrezl Harrell. In that regard, Bryant will add more three-pointers despite not being the shot moderator that Gafford in particular is.

Finally, do I see Bryant walking away from Washington for nothing? I do not. I think he’s signed and traded to another team, if he doesn’t play for the Wizards next season.

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