Washington Mystics sign veteran Essence Carson

7:21 PM ET

Mechelle VoepelESPN.com

CloseMechelle Voepel covers the WNBA, women’s college basketball, and other college sports for espnW. Voepel began covering women’s basketball in 1984, and has been with ESPN since 1996.

The Washington Mystics signed veteran Essence Carson on Friday, giving the team another option at guard in the absence of Natasha Cloud.

Cloud announced early this week that she would be opting out of playing in the WNBA this season to focus on fighting for social justice.

Carson, the No. 7 pick in the 2008 WNBA draft out of Rutgers, has spent 12 seasons in the league, reaching the playoffs nine times. She won a WNBA title with Los Angeles in 2016.

Carson, who is known for her defense, has averaged 7.4 points, 2.3 rebounds and 1.3 assists in her career, playing for New York for eight years, Los Angeles for three, and Phoenix last year. She was a starter for Rutgers’ 2007 national runner-up team.

“We are excited to add Essence to our team,” Mystics head coach and general manager Mike Thibault said. “Her ability to play several positions and her veteran leadership will be a great addition. Above all, she’s a proven winner.”

Cloud and post player LaToya Sanders, starters for the Mystics’ WNBA championship team last season, are both sitting out 2020.

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