Emma Meesseman will return to the Washington Mystics to help defend their 2019 WNBA Championship.
On Monday, the team announced that the 2019 Finals MVP will return to the team on an undisclosed deal. The deal is reportedly for one year and a maximum amount of $215,000, according to High Post Hoops. The 26-year-old had just wrapped up her final season under contract with Washington last year.
Washington is the only WNBA team Meesseman has ever known. She was drafted by the Mystics 19th overall in the 2013 draft. She quickly became one of the key figures of the team and essentially was the Mystics' future until they traded for Elena Delle Donne before the 2017 season.
She did, however, miss all of the 2018 season to play with the Belgian National team and took a personal break from the game before returning to the District last year. The team noted that she was the "missing piece" that was crucial to their 'Run it Back' season that culminated in a championship.
“D.C. is my home away from home, so I am so happy to be back with the team and organization,” Meesseman said in a release. “I look forward to playing in [the Entertainment and Sports Arena] again with the best fans! Let’s get another one!!!”
Meesseman was primarily a bench player during the 2019 championship run, although she had the talent of a starter. Off the bench, she would provide an instantaneous spark and give balance to the rotation of players. On the court, there was no other group of bench players in the WNBA that could guard the 6-4 forward.
With that advantage, she averaged 13.1 points while shooting 55% from the field and 42% from three last season. She became the first bench player to ever win the WNBA Finals MVP award by averaging 19.3 points at a 58% clip.
“Emma re-signing is a huge step for our team. Having one of the top players in the world back for the upcoming season gives us a lot of options in how we play,” Mystics head coach and general manager Mike Thibault said. “It’s a great feeling for a coach to have a Finals MVP and a League MVP in Elena Delle Donne lining up opposite each other on the court. I can’t wait to get started again!”
With Meesseman and Delle Donne re-signing with the team, the Mystics two best players are back to begin their title defense. Both bring a similar skillset and can fit together on the court at the same time. Individually, they are two of the best players in the WNBA. Together, they are perhaps the best one-two combo in the league.
Several other teams used the offseason to re-tool and collect pieces to be able to compete with the record-breaking offense that the Mystics employed last year. Instead, the Mystics used it to try and bring back as many figures from the championship as possible.
Washington now has a full 12-player roster for the 2020 season.
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