Atlanta Hawks: Mike Muscala Needs to Face Better Competition

By A.J. Speier
Mike Muscala
Mark Zerof-USA TODAY Sports

After basically giving Mike Muscala a five-game tryout at the Las Vegas Summer League, the Atlanta Hawks decided it was in their best interest to allow him to play in Spain next season with Blusens Monbus Obradoiro.

The Hawks have been busy this offseason trying to upgrade their frontcourt and once the team claimed Gustavo Ayon off waivers, it became obvious that Muscala wasn’t going to get much playing time if kept on the 15-man roster. Aside from Ayon, Muscala would’ve had to compete for minutes with Al Horford and recent free agent signings Paul Millsap, Elton Brand and Pero Antic.

During Summer League, Muscala didn’t really receive a fair shot to show what he could do because the Hawks were more interested in taking a look at John Jenkins, Mike Scott, Dennis Schroeder and Lucas Noguiera. Muscala received just 18.4 minutes per game, but performed well in his limited minutes, averaging 5.8 points and 2.6 rebounds per game.

Coming from a smaller college in Bucknell, Muscala was taken as the No. 44 overall pick in the second round of the 2013 NBA Draft due to the level of competition he played against. At 6’11’’, Muscala had a height advantage in the Patriot League, which helped him have a strong senior season, averaging 18.7 points, 11.1 rebounds and 2.4 blocks per game.

In Bucknell’s lone NCAA Tournament game, Muscala struggled against Butler’s Andrew Smith, hitting 4/17 from the floor and finishing the game with nine points.

According to Hawks general manager Danny Ferry, the team wants to see how Muscala performs in Spain before giving him another chance to make the 15-man roster next season.

“This is a great opportunity for Mike to play for a quality program in a strong league,” Ferry said via a team press release. “We are excited to closely monitor his growth as he further prepares himself for the NBA game.”

Follow A.J. Speier on Twitter @Ajbisons for articles, news, and all things NBA

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