In an effort to make up for the loss of Kristi Tolliver, who signed with the Los Angeles Sparks, the Washington Mystics signed reigning WNBA Most Improved Player guard Leilani Mitchell. Mitchell returns to the Mystics after previously playing with the team in 2016.
Leilani Mitchell has been in the WNBA since 2008 playing her college ball at the University of Idaho and the University of Utah. She was drafted by the Phoenix Mercury with the 25th overall pick in the second round then traded to the New York Liberty.
She would spend the first six years of her career with the Liberty where she won her first of two Most Improved Player awards in 2010. She would then go on to one year stints with the Phoenix Mercury and Washington Mystics before returning to the Mercury where she would play the next three seasons.
Last season, Mitchell averaged career highs across the board 12.8 points, 4.0 assists and 3.0 rebounds . This achievement allowed her to win the Most Improved Player award for the second time in her career becoming the first player whether it be in the NBA or WNBA to win a Most Improved Player award twice.
Mystics coach and general manager Mike Thibault had this to say following the signing of Leilani Mitchell, “Leilani will be a terrific addition and perfect fit to our team. We loved having her when she was here before and everyone in the organization is thrilled to have her back. Her leadership, ball handling, passing, and 3-point shooting will fit seamlessly with our style of play. On top of all that, she is one of the best teammates you could ask for.”
Mitchell is fifth among active players in three-point field goal percentage (.396) and 16th overall while also being eighth among active players in career threes made (429) and 17th overall.
The Mystics have now filled 11 of their 12 roster spots with reigning WNBA Finals MVP Emma Meesseman still unsigned as a free agent.
Leilani is coming to DC off of a 𝗰𝗮𝗿𝗲𝗲𝗿-𝗯𝗲𝘀𝘁 season averaging 12.8 PPG, 3.0 RPG, & 4.0 APG – that earned her 𝗠𝗼𝘀𝘁 𝗜𝗺𝗽𝗿𝗼𝘃𝗲𝗱 𝗣𝗹𝗮𝘆𝗲𝗿. pic.twitter.com/xynkNDT4tD
— Washington Mystics (@WashMystics) February 13, 2020