The Washington Mystics made a move to fill a huge hole in their roster Sunday. General Manager Mike Thibault wasn’t able to find the backup big he had sought in free agency, so he went the trade route instead.
Mystics acquire Amanda Zahui B. from Aces, near one-year deal with her
The Mystics sent second-round draft picks in 2024 and 2025 to the Las Vegas Aces for the negotiating rights to 6-foot-5 center Amanda Zahui B. She is expected to sign a one-year deal, according to a person with knowledge of the negotiations.
“This is a trade that adds a very versatile player to our roster,” Thibault said in a statement. “Amanda can play inside and on the perimeter, a skill set that we value highly in our post players. With her length and athleticism, we are looking forward to her having a significant impact on both ends of the floor.”
Zahui B., 29, was the No. 2 pick in the 2015 draft by the Tulsa Shock; the franchise, which had moved to Dallas, traded her to New York in 2016. She played five seasons with the Liberty before signing with Los Angeles in 2021. The Sparks suspended her contract for all of last season for what then-general manager and coach Derek Fisher attributed to overseas commitments. The Sparks traded her rights to the Aces last month in a deal that sent Dearica Hamby to Los Angeles.
Zahui B. is a native of Sweden whose full name is Amanda Zahui Bazoukou. In 2021, she averaged a career-high 9.2 points to go with 5.1 rebounds and 1.2 blocks. The Aces would have had trouble signing her and staying under the salary cap after they added Candace Parker and Alysha Clark in free agency. In Washington she is expected to back up center Shakira Austin and be the first big off the bench; in that role, she replaces Elizabeth Williams, who signed with the Chicago Sky.
Elena Delle Donne, Ariel Atkins, Natasha Cloud, Myisha Hines-Allen and Austin are the returning Mystics players under contract. Shatori Walker-Kimbrough re-signed, and Brittney Sykes joined the team in free agency. Kristi Toliver and the Mystics reached an agreement for her to sign after the NBA’s Dallas Mavericks’ season ends; she is an assistant coach in the NBA. Tianna Hawkins, Jazmine Jones, Evina Westbrook and Alisia Jenkins landed training camp contracts. And the Mystics have the No. 4 pick in April’s draft.