WNBA Free Agency Day 4: Leilani Mitchell returns to Washington Mystics

Photo Credit: Barry Gossage/NBAE/Getty Images

On the first day of the category 5 maelstrom that has been WNBA Free Agency, a former Los Angeles Spark that had went east to the Washington Mystics made her triumphant return to the Sparks when Kristi Toliver signed with LA.

On the fourth day of the category 5 maelstrom that has been WNBA free agency, a former Washington Mystic that went west to the Phoenix Mercury made her triumphant return to the Mystics as Leilani Mitchell was announced as heading to DC likely as Toliver’s replacement.

Mitchell was the 2019 Most Improved Player on a Mercury team that was the eighth seed in the 2019 playoffs before being eliminated by the Chicago Sky. She averaged nearly 13 points per game last season.

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.

–Mike Thibault, Washington Mystics coach (per press release)

Did somebody mention the Sky … because as the free agent period has continued to progress, James Wade’s team is continuing to reload in preparation for 2020.

While the Las Vegas Aces made the first major splash of free agency by coming to terms with Angel McCoughtry, the Aces will say farewell to Sydney Colson (and her iconic Lady Aces chant) as she will join Courtney Vandersloot, Allie Quigley, Stefanie Dolson, Gabby Williams and Diamond DeShields in the Windy City. She played in 33 games for Las Vegas last season and averaged over 11 minutes per contest along with just over three points per game.

Side note – Lady Sky simply does not have the same ring to it.

The Sky also made sure to re-sign Vandersloot, Quigley and Dolson as well, according to the Chicago Sun-Times.

Going into 2020, the Dallas Wings will be unbelievably young. Arike Ogunbowale. Allisha Gray. Kristine Anigwe. Megan Gustafson. Azura Stevens. The four draft picks they will have in the first round of this year’s draft alone. That fact of a youth movement/rebuild in Texas became even more pronounced when it became know that Glory Johnson had signed a deal heading east to the Atlanta Dream.

Also making a bit of news was the Indiana Fever, a team still in the throes of a rebuild but one that could be close to finally bearing fruit particularly given the hire of Marianne Stanley – its new coach. Another of the W’s younger teams, the Fever announced that it had re-upped with Tiffany Mitchell.

The Dream extended an offer sheet to Mitchell, similar to what Atlanta did with Astou Ndour prior to the Sky matching Ndour’s offer then trading her to Dallas. The Fever was not going to allow one of the key pieces of its young nucleus go south to Georgia.

Mitchell may not be going to the Big Peach, but Long Island’s very own Bria Hartley will be leaving the Big Apple’s WNBA team. After three seasons in the black and statue green of the New York Liberty, Hartley will head from east to west to join Skylar Diggins-Smith (and Brittney Griner and Diana Taurasi) with the Phoenix Mercury.

And while much of WNBA Twitter was fixated for any and all news surrounding another noteworthy Lib (Tina Charles), there was another signing that, while expected, also got its fair share of attention.

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