Mike Muscala
Mike Muscala
28-Year-Old CenterC
Oklahoma City Thunder
2019 Fantasy Outlook
Muscala appeared in 64 games last season between the 76ers and the Lakers. He saw 20.4 minutes and averaged a career-high 1.4 threes en route to 7.0 points per game. He also chipped in 3.8 rebounds and 1.2 assists. While Muscala has shown upside as a floor-spacing big, his rebounding and defense leave something to be desired, which will likely make it difficult for him to see an expanded role at some point in the future. In joining the Thunder, Muscala figures to be the primary backup at power forward to Danilo Gallinari. It's possible Muscala sees time at center as well, but Nerlens Noel will likely have the reserve center spot locked down. All things considered, Muscala is worth avoiding in all but the deepest of fantasy leagues. Read Past Outlooks
$Signed a two-year, $4.31 million contract with the Thunder in July of 2019.
Latches on with Oklahoma City
COklahoma City Thunder
June 30, 2019
Muscala and the Thunder came to terms Sunday, Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN reports.
Muscala spent time with the Lakers and 76ers a season ago, averaging seven points along with 3.8 rebounds and 1.2 assists over 64 contests. He appears to be headed for a bench role with the Thunder and figures to compete with Patrick Patterson and Nerlens Noel for playing time.
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Past Fantasy Outlooks
Due to injuries, Muscala had a fairly disappointing showing during his fifth season in Atlanta. He wound up playing just 53 total games, which marked a three-year low. He chipped in with averages of 7.6 points, 4.3 rebounds and 1.0 assist across 20.0 minutes, while he surprisingly added 1.2 three-pointers at a 37.1 percent clip. That made him a capable floor-stretching big man that could play both center and power forward, which prompted the 76ers to make a trade for him in the offseason. He immediately bolsters the team's frontcourt depth, but it seems unlikely that he'll garner many more minutes than what he saw in Atlanta. He'll battle Amir Johnson for time as the backup center to Joel Embiid and will likely find himself buried even more at power forward with the likes of Dario Saric, Robert Covington, Wilson Chandler and Johnson all having the ability to play that position. As a result, Muscala will be avoidable in most draft formats and may need a few injuries in order to become relevant.
Entering a contract year, Muscala put together his best season as professional, averaging a career-high 17.7 minutes across 70 games. That translated to an increase in points (6.2), rebounds (3.4) and assists (1.4), while shooting 50.4 percent from the field. Muscala struggled as a free-throw shooter at just 76.6 percent, but did impress as a deep ball threat, surprising many with a 41.8 percent clip from deep. His overall improvement prompted to the Hawks to retain the 6-foot-11 big man, as he secured a two-year, $10 million extension in the offseason. While that certainly provides a confidence boost, Muscala still may struggle to see extended minutes. The Hawks brought in Dewayne Dedmon, who's expected to start at center, and they also have Miles Plumlee available. That likely means Muscala will battle Plumlee for minutes as a reserve. Muscala could see a slightly bigger role from last season, but it may not be enough to render him a useful Fantasy option in the majority of Fantasy leagues.
Muscala remained a bit piece in the Hawks' frontcourt in 2015-16, and though he suited up for a career-high 60 contests, it actually came with the fewest minutes per game (9.4) of his three NBA seasons. The 6-foot-11 big man saw his opportunities increase once Tiago Splitter underwent season-ending hip surgery, but didn't show much overall improvement, as his rebound rate fell along with his field-goal and three-point percentages. The Hawks valued Muscala enough to exercise his $1.01 million team option for the upcoming season, but he could have a short leash if his production fails to bounce back. Splitter is expected to be back to full health near the start of the season and 7-foot-3 Walter Tavares remains an intriguing project for the organization, so the presence of those two players alone may be enough to oust Muscala from the roster.
In his second season, Muscala mustered up 4.9 points, 3.0 rebounds, 0.6 assists, 0.4 steals, and 0.5 blocks in 13 minutes per game through 40 games with the Hawks. He shot 55 percent from the field, 41 percent from downtown, and 88 percent from the free-throw line. During six D-League games, he contributed 12.8 points, 8.7 rebounds, 1.7 assists, 0.7 steals, and 1.0 block in 29 minutes per game. Muscala's $0.9 million contract is non-guaranteed for 2015-16, but after impressing in 10 postseason contests with averages of 4.2 points on 3.3 field goal attempts, 1.8 rebounds, 0.1 assists, 0.1 steals, and 0.3 blocks in 10 minutes per game, Muscala seems very likely to stick. The 6-11, 230-pound center also appeared in six summer league games, posting 9.8 points, 7.3 rebounds, 2.5 assists, 1.3 steals, and 1.2 blocks in 28 minutes per game. Though the Hawks' acquisition of Tiago Splitter puts another big man ahead of Muscala in coach Mike Budenholzer's projected rotation, Pero Antic is gone, and Mike Scott's NBA career is in question. Therefore, it is possible Muscala will earn the majority of the minutes left over by Horford, Paul Millsap, and Splitter.
The Hawks planned to have Muscala – their second-round pick in the 2013 draft – play in Europe for a year or two, but frontcourt injuries forced them to accelerate Muscala's apprenticeship. Atlanta negotiated a buyout with his Spanish club and added him to the roster in early March. He appeared in 20 games down the stretch, averaging 11 minutes per game – mostly at center – with 3.8 points, 2.6 rebounds, and 0.5 blocks per contest. He apparently impressed the Hawks enough to win a role in the frontcourt this season, as Atlanta let Gustavo Ayon walk in free agency. At 6-11, Muscala is the tallest of the Hawks' center options. His biggest strength entering the league was his rebounding, but he's shown signs that he can be an efficient contributor on the offensive end. He averaged 13.8 points on 43-percent shooting in six games during the Las Vegas Summer League.
More Fantasy News
Another productive spot start
CLos Angeles Lakers
April 10, 2019
Muscala delivered 16 points (6-10 FG, 4-7 3Pt), five rebounds, one assist and one block across 35 minutes in the Lakers' 104-101 loss to the Trail Blazers on Tuesday.
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Puts up 16 points in start
CLos Angeles Lakers
April 8, 2019
Muscala provided 16 points (6-10 FG, 4-6 3Pt), eight rebounds, an assist and a blocked shot across 38 minutes in Sunday's 113-109 win over the Jazz.
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In starting lineup Sunday
CLos Angeles Lakers
April 7, 2019
Muscala will start at power forward in Sunday's game against the Jazz.
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Contributes off bench again
CLos Angeles Lakers
April 5, 2019
Muscala registered 11 points (4-8 FG, 3-5 3Pt), six rebounds, two assists and one steal across 24 minutes in the Lakers' 108-90 loss to the Warriors on Thursday.
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Scores 10 points in 19 minutes
CLos Angeles Lakers
April 2, 2019
Muscala managed 10 points (3-7 FG, 2-6 3Pt, 2-2 FT), three rebounds, and one assist in 19 minutes during Tuesday's 119-103 loss to the Thunder.
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