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Your Day in Women’s Basketball, August 18: Sun, Mystics make a share of moves

Sun add veteran experience as the Mystics head toward a youth movement

The Washington Mystics have an eye toward the future and aren’t afraid to buy into the youth movement. Without a 2021 pick, it doesn’t make sense for Washington to tank, so it took the next logical route, free agency.

Washington capitalized on the pool of young talent available on Monday.

As such, the team waived Shey Peddy and Essence Carson in favor of signing rookie Sug Sutton. Sutton joins rookie Stella Johnson, who the Mystics picked up last week. Thibault has been a vocal supporter of Sutton’s game since the playoffs, and Myisha Hines-Allen said she’s impressed with what she’s seen.

“She just looks like she’s a great leader,” Hines-Allen said. “She can definitely lead her team, she [brings] energy, and that’s definitely someone we need and we’re going to definitely feed off of her. … She’s here, my new teammate, [and] I’m excited.”

Sutton could be available as soon as Wednesday against the Atlanta Dream if her COVID test comes back negative.

Losing Peddy and Carson are tough pills to swallow. Peddy is something of a success story, or at least a resilient one, as the guard has spent the past 8 years grinding to make a WNBA roster (expand the league please!) but couldn’t make it past the midway point for the Mystics.

Carson, on the other hand, is a proven veteran, although she has struggled this season. The guard has shot just 28 percent from the field this year and is turning the ball over at double the rate of her assists.

The Connecticut Sun picked up Carson in the hopes a change of scenery (or in this case, hotel rooms) will get her back on track. Across her career, Carson has been a talented and willing shooter, so it makes sense for Connecticut to take a flier on the veteran guard.

The race for the last couple of playoff spots is going to be tight, and the Sun are doing everything they can to snag one. A Sun-based team making a push for the last spot in the playoffs — sounds familiar?

After an 0-5 start, Connecticut has gone 4-2 over their last six games and currently sit on the bubble of the postseason. Beating Indiana this week will be crucial in stealing one of those final spots.

“The locker room knows. It’s not do-or-die but the locker room knows the Indiana series is going to be a big series when it’s all said and done,” said head coach Curt Miller.

The Wings have been a League Pass darling thanks to the play of Arike Ogunbowale, Ty Harris, and Bella Alaire, but there’s a fourth star in the making: Kayla Thornton. The defensive stalwart has added a consistent three-point shot to her game this season and could be on the path to All-Star status.

Read more about how Dallas’s indispensable starter could turn into an All-Star, from The Next’s Drew Ivery.

Down in the NCAA, the Virginia Cavaliers will lose two freshmen, Shemera Williams and Kylie Kornegay-Lucas. Both players announced they are transferring from the University.

Both freshmen looked promising last year, with Williams averaging 9 PPG and Kornegay-Lucas showing brilliance on the defensive end. Kornegay-Lucas also had flashes of stardom on offense, including a season-high 31-point performance against Old Dominion.

The WNBA’s activism has had a profound effect on young fans, including nine-year-old Pepper Persley, the author of this fantastic piece that includes interviews from Satou Sabally, Nneka Ogumike, Layshia Clarendon, and Jewell Loyd. Each player spoke of the importance of getting young fans involved in the social justice movement.

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