The Atlanta Hawks have been in a free-fall since the start of February. After looking like the clear-cut third-best team in the NBA’s Eastern Conference to start the year, the Hawks are now in serious jeopardy of missing the postseason after losing nine of their last 10 games including a game against the Chicago Bulls on Tuesday night that they let slip away.
A big part of the Hawks’ struggles has been out of their control as a result of numerous injuries. Most notably, Al Horford suffered a torn pectoral muscle earlier this season that will keep him out all year. In addition, though, Pero Antic and Gustavo Ayon have left the Hawks’ frontcourt lacking even further due to recent injuries and Paul Millsap has been banged up recently.
Looking to give their frontcourt some relief, the Hawks are reportedly set to bring in the 44th overall pick from the 2013 NBA Draft in Mike Muscala, per Chris Vivlamore of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Muscala signed a one-year deal to play in Spain for Blusens Monbus Obradoiro this summer while the Hawks maintained his draft rights. As I looked at a few weeks ago, Muscala has performed quite well while overseas.
In 20 games in the Spanish ACB, Muscala has averaged 14.6 points, 7.8 rebounds and 1.1 assists in 26.3 minutes per game while converting on 54 percent of his field goal attempts. Playing against some of Europe’s best, the soon-to-be-NBA-rookie has shown the development that the Hawks wanted to see from him.
Don’t expect Muscala to cause a storm when he puts on a Hawks uniform, but he looks like a player that could help tighten up an ailing rotation in Atlanta. He’s a big body that has a lot of offensive skill for a big man and can also rebound well. His defense, as is often the case for young big men, needs fine-tuning. Regardless, Muscala will almost surely see time right away once the buyout of his Spanish contract is complete and he arrives in Atlanta and we’ll see if he can continue the success he’s had overseas this year.