Mike Muscala is back. The singing cheers of ‘Moose’ will continue for a couple more seasons as the 5th year man out of Bucknell returned to Atlanta on a two-year, $10 million dollar contract.
Muscala has become a fan favorite role player for the Hawks over his first four seasons in Atlanta and many are happy for his return. At the age of 26, Muscala can be a part of the foundation of the Hawks’ rebuild, not as a star or even as a starter, but as a glue guy.
Coming out of Bucknell, he was praised by those in the advanced stats euphoria and with Hawks’ head coach Mike Budenholzer, coming out of the San Antonio Spurs’ organization, he was in every sense of the word a ‘Spurs guy’.
Moving forward with Paul Millsap in Denver and Dwight Howard in Charlotte, Muscala could see a boost in minutes as he averaged about 18 minutes a night last season in 70 games and earned three starts. Mucsala averaged (6.2) points per game and (3.4) rebounds per game.
In many ways, Muscala brings a similar skill set that Millsap did and fits in better than Howard. He can rebound, defend and step out and shoot. He also knows Budenholzer’s system and expectations.Look for Muscala’s numbers to increase as his playing time increases this year as Budenholzer will be looking for players he can trust early in the season.
This is an important season for Muscala to show his value as a role player for a team looking to contend, as his long-term future seems to be outside of Atlanta with the development of John Collins m. Collins’ development could be key in determining what role Muscala will have at the conclusion of the 2017-2018 season and entering the Final Year in 2018-2019.