The Atlanta Hawks ended up with the rights to big man Mike Muscala after the 2013 NBA Draft after he was selected in the second round with the 44th overall pick. The Bucknell product showed some promise in Summer League, averaging 5.8 points, 5.2 rebounds and one block in 18.4 minutes per game, though he shot just 40.6 percent from the floor.
However, Muscala signed with Rio Natura Monbus—a team in Spain—soon after Summer League and wasn’t around for the preseason with the Hawks. However, the idea of the 6’11” big man one day winding up on the Hawks roster was hardly out of the question as he went to Spain.
In Spain this season, the 22-year-old has been quite productive. Playing 18 games with Rio Natura, Muscala has averaged 14.3 points, 8.1 rebounds, 1.1 assists and 0.6 blocks in 26.2 minutes per game while hitting 53 percent of his two-point field goal attempts and 86.6 percent of his attempts from the foul line.
One of the big positives from Muscala playing overseas this year is that it allows him the opportunity to develop a stronger frame that he started building in college. He’s quite skilled for a big man, but he needs polishing and needs to get stronger and more confident with his game before he’s ready for NBA action. Thus far, he’s seemingly been working on that in Spain.
No one is really expecting Muscala to be an All-Star in the Association for the future, but if Al Horford is going to be around in Atlanta for the long-term, there’s no reason that Muscala can’t be a long-term backup to Horford. It’s just half a season in Spain, but he seems to be taking the right steps towards that.