On the fourth of this month, just a few days into free agency, the Washington Mystics were able to retain another one of their key pieces. Veteran forward Latoya Sanders joins Natasha Cloud as players the Mystics kept this offseason.
The Mystics are coming off what seemed like an improbable run to the WNBA Finals. They were swept by the Seattle Storm, but that run could not have happened without a big year by Sanders.
She averaged career-bests in points per game and rebounds per game. So much of what she does can’t be quantified by the box score. She was the team’s best post defender and routinely put out fires on that end of the floor. She also had the ability to score when needed as evident by her finishing second in the league in field goal percentage (60.7%).
LaToya’s contributions were truly needed with former All-Star Emma Meesseman sitting out the WNBA season last year for rest.
This gives Coach Thibault a wonderful problem going into the year. A front court rotation featuring Sanders, Elena Delle Donne and Meesseman can only help Washington in their bid to get back to the Finals. It can also help lessen the load on all three players with them all in rotation.
Similar to the Cloud signing, the Mystics couldn’t afford to lose Sanders. The only way to keep building as a team is to get better and avoid losing key pieces, that was done by Washington be retaining both players.