According to a report from Shams Charania of The Vertical, free agent forward Mike Muscala has agreed to a two-year contract that will keep him with the Atlanta Hawks.
Per Charania’s reporting, Muscala, who is 26-years-old, will make $10 million over the next two years, and he has a player option in the second season that will allow him to put his name back on the free agent market should he choose to do so.
Muscala, originally from St. Louis Park, Minnesota, was a great player off the bench for the Hawks last season. He averaged 6.2 points and 3.4 rebounds (including just over one offensive rebound per game) and he helped stretch the floor for Atlanta, despite the fact that he plays power forward and center.
Stretch-forwards are all the rage in today’s NBA, so it makes sense that the Hawks were quick to re-sign the 6-foot-11, 240-pound big man. That, and the fact that Muscala is coming off the best season of his four-year NBA career.
From Bucknell University, Muscala was drafted by the Dallas Mavericks in the 2nd Round of the 2013 NBA Draft. He was the 14th pick of the round, and the 44th pick overall. Despite Dallas obviously feeling good about him — or at least good enough to draft him — the Mavericks did some wheeling and dealing on draft night and that led to Muscala being traded to the Hawks.
In 2013, Muscala played in the NBA Summer League with the Hawks before signing a one-year deal in Liga ACB overseas, where he played with Río Natura Monbús Obradoiro. He averaged 14.6 points. 7.8 rebounds and 1.1 assists per game for the club, which was good enough to get him back on the NBA radar, and ultimately good enough to get the Hawks to sign a multi-year deal with him in 2014.
Muscala played in 20 games for the Hawks in 2013-14, averaging 3.8 points per game. He’s improved year-after-year while making a name for himself as a solid NBA bench player, and that includes eight starts in 2014-15 and the 70 games (with three starts) he made an appearance in last season for Atalanta.
For what it’s worth, it’s not like the market was extremely hot for Muscala. In fact, it appeared he wanted to come back to Atlanta, at least according to what he told Jerry Zgoda of the Star Tribune before free agency kicked off.
“I’ve learned a lot, been through some ups and downs, but it has all led to this point,” he said.
“There’s nothing I can do now to change anything. Obviously, I loved my time in Atlanta. I would love to be back there. I just have to see what happens.”
Solid bench players can be the difference between a championship run or a quick exit in the playoffs, so without a doubt, bringing Muscala back should be praised as a good move by Atlanta.
[Featured Image by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images]