As you are aware, Tina Charles signed with the Phoenix Mercury on Friday.
This means she has moved on from the Washington Mystics or the Washington Mystics have moved on from her. Either way, Charles is no longer in DC
When Washington signed Charles in 2020, it was pure delight given the injury issues the Mystics were dealing with especially with Elena Delle Donne and she could have formed a dangerous frontcourt with Emma Meesseman.
Charles ended up opting out of the 2020 season, so the 2021 season was the only season she played for Washington. After last season, it was possible she could return, but either Thibault had other plans OR Charles just wasn’t feeling the atmosphere.
Before Washington got going in free agency, speculation of Charles not returning could have came from a tweet she posted in late January. Going off this tweet alone, it could seem that Washington didn’t want to pursue her. But who knows!
Based on the signings so far for the Mystics, we can see Thibault had other plans but it doesn’t help the decision-making knowing Charles has a do-or-die attitude. Among the many accolades that Charles has on her resume, the major one missing is a WNBA championship. With Charles going into her 12th season, there’s apparently no time to be wasted and she wants to win now.
She signed a one-year deal with a team that was in the WNBA Finals last season. She’ll be joining Skylar Diggins-Smith, Brittney Griner, Diana Taurasi, and newcomer from the Chicago Sky Diamond DeShields. It’s looking like she may just get that missing championship since now the Mercury are considered the favorites to win it all this season. But with the win-now attitude, has Charles given Washington a fair shot?
I say no. After playing only one season with the Mystics and only one game with Delle Donne due to injury, a possible mentality of not being able to win there shouldn’t have even been thought about. The one valuable thing about the Mystics team is egos are left at the door and they play and come together like a family. There’s no pointing fingers or shifting blame when losses happen.
To many, this may seem like a loss for Washington, but honestly, the Mystics are better off and they’ve made moves in free agency proving that. Washington thanked Charles for “everything” and curiosity seeps in wondering what is all included in this everything. Leading the league in scoring and was third in rebounds, but couldn’t lead a team to the promised land.
It’ll be interesting to see in this one-year deal signed with Phoenix if the Mercury actually pull it off. If they don’t will Charles up and leave again and play elsewhere or call it a career? That’s one of the unknowns when joining an already stacked team.