Mystics sign three reserves to training camp contracts originally appeared on NBC Sports Washington
The Mystics have signed three players from last year’s team to training camp contracts for the 2021 season. Winsidr’s Rachel Galligan was first with the news.
Second-year players Stella Johnson and Sug Sutton join Jacki Gemelos as the three reserves who are coming back.
Johnson had the biggest impact for Washington during last year’s ‘bubble’ season. The rookie out of Rider was signed midway through the season after being cut by the Chicago Sky. Immediately, she had an impact for the Mystics, and in her third game was the leading scorer with 25 points, making six 3-pointers.
An ankle injury ended her 2020 season after only five games in Washington. She averaged 9.2 points and shot 64.3% from deep, albeit a small sample size. At the end of the season, head coach and general manager Mike Thibault joked that she will act as the team’s 2021 draft pick since the team does not have any for this year.
Sutton was actually drafted by the Mystics in the third round of the 2020 draft. After being waived, the team re-signed her during the season to help fill out the roster due to injuries.
Gemelos, 32, just came off her second season in the WNBA ever after her career has been plagued with injuries.
Whether or not any of these players make the roster remains to be seen. Last year, they only made the squad due to the mass amount of opt-outs (four) and player injuries. With a full roster that includes two-time MVP Elena Delle Donne presumably returning for 2021, there is still going to be limited room for them to be one of the final 11 or 12 players on the squad.
Washington has five more players hitting free agency this offseason. One, Tina Charles, has verbally committed to Thibault that she will return. If all players re-sign in D.C., the team would be out of roster spots.
With that being said, Thibault does always leave the door open for training camp players to earn their way onto the roster if they outperform someone else.
The three players’ contracts will not count towards the Mystics’ salary cap unless one of them remain on the roster for the first day of the regular season, according to the CBA.