Mystics sign former No. 2 overall pick Amanda Zahui B. to fill backup center role
Mystics sign former No. 2 pick Zahui B. to fill backup center role originally appeared on NBC Sports Washington
The Washington Mystics have signed former No. 2 overall pick Amanda Zahui B. to fill the backup center role behind second-year player Shakira Austin. Zahui B. agreed to a one-year deal after not playing in the WNBA last season. Terms of the deal were not announced due to team policy.
Her rights were originally acquired by Washington in a trade this past Sunday. The Mystics sent two second-round picks (2024 & 2025) to the Los Angeles Sparks for her negotiating rights.
Last season, she was set to earn $139,000 - the most of her career - until her contract was suspended by Los Angeles due to limited availability caused by playing overseas.
“Amanda can play inside and on the perimeter, a skill set that we value highly in our post players,” general manager Mike Thibault said in a release. “With her length and athleticism, we are looking forward to her having a significant impact on both ends of the floor. We are thrilled to have her in a Mystics uniform!”
Austin's success as a rookie last year paved the way for this signing. She assumed the starting role over Elizabeth Williams (due to her early-season overseas commitments) and locked down the position. Austin finished second in Rookie of the Year voting and appears poised to make big strides in her sophomore season.
It led Williams to sign with the Chicago Sky this free agency period for a bigger contract. As a result, there was only one traditional big on the roster.
Zahui B.'s career featured a continued upward progression until she missed the 2022 season. Her early production didn't quite measure up to the expectations for a No. 2 pick. But after being named a starter in New York for most of 2019, she elevated her play and has produced career-highs in nearly every major statistical category over the past three seasons.
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In 2021, she averaged 9.2 points (a career-high), 5.1 rebounds and 1.2 blocks while shooting 42.9% from the field and 28.0% from deep.
At 6-foot-5, the Swedish-born player has some versatility at the center position. She averages 2.0 3-point attempts per game for her career and will help Washington with their perimeter coverage of forwards.
The Mystics will be Zahui B.'s fourth WNBA franchise. After being drafted by Tulsa (now the Dallas Wings), she played with the Liberty and Sparks. She is also the third member of the 2021 Sparks roster playing for the Mystics in 2023, joining Brittney Sykes and Kristi Toliver.