Coming into the 2013 NBA Draft, there were some people that though that center Mike Muscala out of Bucknell could possibly sneak into the back end of the first round. So, when the Atlanta Hawks grabbed Muscala with the 44th overall pick in the secon round, it felt like they were getting a steal.
In his senior year at Bucknell, Muscala averaged 18.7 points, 11.1 rebounds, 2.3 assists and 2.4 blocks in 31.7 minutes per game. He also shot a solid 50.9 percent from the field and knocked down an impressive, for a big man at least, 78.9 percent of his free throws. Even though he was a near seven-footer with solid strength playing in a mid-major conference, he dominated like you would expect a pro prospect to do in that situation.
Muscala didn’t see the floor much for the Hawks at the Las Vegas Summer League, though, playing just 18.4 minutes per game. He produced well, averaging 5.8 points, 5.2 boards and one block per game, but he struggled to find his rhythm offensively in his first taste of an NBA environment as he shot just 40.6 percent from the field.
Though Muscala has a ton of potential as an NBA center, it’s really not his time with Atlanta. As of right now, the frontcourt for the Hawks is incredibly crowded with Al Horford and the new additions of Paul Millsap, Gustavo Ayon, Elton Brand and Pero Antic from this summer. With the Hawks’ other rookie big man, Lucas Nogueira, possibly headed to Spain, Muscala is taking the same route as Nougeira as he announced via Twitter that he has signed to play with Blusens Monbus Obradoiro in Spain.
Though Muscala has a lot of talent, this is likely the best move for him. Going overseas will allow him to get an opportunity to play in a competitive professional league and have the opportunity to actually get on the floor and develop his game to where he’s more NBA-ready. It’s a shame Muscala won’t get to play with the Hawks, but it’s ultimately the best choice for the rookie.