Mike Muscala
Mike Muscala
27-Year-Old CenterC
Los Angeles Lakers
2018 Fantasy Outlook
Due to injuries, Muscala had a fairly disappointing showing during his fifth season in Atlanta. He wound up playing just 53 total games, which marked a three-year low. He chipped in with averages of 7.6 points, 4.3 rebounds and 1.0 assist across 20.0 minutes, while he surprisingly added 1.2 three-pointers at a 37.1 percent clip. That made him a capable floor-stretching big man that could play both center and power forward, which prompted the 76ers to make a trade for him in the offseason. He immediately bolsters the team's frontcourt depth, but it seems unlikely that he'll garner many more minutes than what he saw in Atlanta. He'll battle Amir Johnson for time as the backup center to Joel Embiid and will likely find himself buried even more at power forward with the likes of Dario Saric, Robert Covington, Wilson Chandler and Johnson all having the ability to play that position. As a result, Muscala will be avoidable in most draft formats and may need a few injuries in order to become relevant. Read Past Outlooks
$Signed a two-year, $10 million contract with the Hawks in July of 2017. Exercised $5 million player option for 2018-19 in June of 2018. Traded to the 76ers in July of 2018. Traded to the Clippers in February of 2019. Traded to the Lakers in February of 2019.
Cleared to play Tuesday
CLos Angeles Lakers
February 12, 2019
Muscala (ankle) will play Tuesday against the Hawks, Kyle Goon of The Orange County Register reports.
ANALYSIS
A sprained right ankle won't keep Muscala from playing during the Lakers' final game before the All-Star break. With Tyson Chandler (toe) out, Muscala could see some extra run.
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Past Fantasy Outlooks
2017
2016
2015
2014
Entering a contract year, Muscala put together his best season as professional, averaging a career-high 17.7 minutes across 70 games. That translated to an increase in points (6.2), rebounds (3.4) and assists (1.4), while shooting 50.4 percent from the field. Muscala struggled as a free-throw shooter at just 76.6 percent, but did impress as a deep ball threat, surprising many with a 41.8 percent clip from deep. His overall improvement prompted to the Hawks to retain the 6-foot-11 big man, as he secured a two-year, $10 million extension in the offseason. While that certainly provides a confidence boost, Muscala still may struggle to see extended minutes. The Hawks brought in Dewayne Dedmon, who's expected to start at center, and they also have Miles Plumlee available. That likely means Muscala will battle Plumlee for minutes as a reserve. Muscala could see a slightly bigger role from last season, but it may not be enough to render him a useful Fantasy option in the majority of Fantasy leagues.
Muscala remained a bit piece in the Hawks' frontcourt in 2015-16, and though he suited up for a career-high 60 contests, it actually came with the fewest minutes per game (9.4) of his three NBA seasons. The 6-foot-11 big man saw his opportunities increase once Tiago Splitter underwent season-ending hip surgery, but didn't show much overall improvement, as his rebound rate fell along with his field-goal and three-point percentages. The Hawks valued Muscala enough to exercise his $1.01 million team option for the upcoming season, but he could have a short leash if his production fails to bounce back. Splitter is expected to be back to full health near the start of the season and 7-foot-3 Walter Tavares remains an intriguing project for the organization, so the presence of those two players alone may be enough to oust Muscala from the roster.
In his second season, Muscala mustered up 4.9 points, 3.0 rebounds, 0.6 assists, 0.4 steals, and 0.5 blocks in 13 minutes per game through 40 games with the Hawks. He shot 55 percent from the field, 41 percent from downtown, and 88 percent from the free-throw line. During six D-League games, he contributed 12.8 points, 8.7 rebounds, 1.7 assists, 0.7 steals, and 1.0 block in 29 minutes per game. Muscala's $0.9 million contract is non-guaranteed for 2015-16, but after impressing in 10 postseason contests with averages of 4.2 points on 3.3 field goal attempts, 1.8 rebounds, 0.1 assists, 0.1 steals, and 0.3 blocks in 10 minutes per game, Muscala seems very likely to stick. The 6-11, 230-pound center also appeared in six summer league games, posting 9.8 points, 7.3 rebounds, 2.5 assists, 1.3 steals, and 1.2 blocks in 28 minutes per game. Though the Hawks' acquisition of Tiago Splitter puts another big man ahead of Muscala in coach Mike Budenholzer's projected rotation, Pero Antic is gone, and Mike Scott's NBA career is in question. Therefore, it is possible Muscala will earn the majority of the minutes left over by Horford, Paul Millsap, and Splitter.
The Hawks planned to have Muscala – their second-round pick in the 2013 draft – play in Europe for a year or two, but frontcourt injuries forced them to accelerate Muscala's apprenticeship. Atlanta negotiated a buyout with his Spanish club and added him to the roster in early March. He appeared in 20 games down the stretch, averaging 11 minutes per game – mostly at center – with 3.8 points, 2.6 rebounds, and 0.5 blocks per contest. He apparently impressed the Hawks enough to win a role in the frontcourt this season, as Atlanta let Gustavo Ayon walk in free agency. At 6-11, Muscala is the tallest of the Hawks' center options. His biggest strength entering the league was his rebounding, but he's shown signs that he can be an efficient contributor on the offensive end. He averaged 13.8 points on 43-percent shooting in six games during the Las Vegas Summer League.
More Fantasy News
Dealing with ankle sprain
CLos Angeles Lakers
Ankle
February 12, 2019
Muscala is listed as questionable for Tuesday's game against the Hawks with a sprained right ankle, Kyle Goon of The Orange County Register reports.
ANALYSIS
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Scores eight points in 13 minutes
CLos Angeles Lakers
February 10, 2019
Muscala had eight points (3-7 FG, 2-5 3Pt), two assists, and one rebound in 13 minutes during Sunday's 143-120 loss to the 76ers.
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Expected to play Sunday
CLos Angeles Lakers
February 9, 2019
Muscala (not injury related) is expected to play in Sunday's game against the 76ers, Mike Trudell of the Lakers' official site reports.
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Dealt to Lakers
CLos Angeles Lakers
Not Injury Related
February 7, 2019
Muscala was traded to the Lakers on Thursday in exchange for Michael Beasley and Ivica Zubac, Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN reports.
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Not playing Thursday
CLos Angeles Clippers
Not Injury Related
February 7, 2019
Muscala is listed as out for the Clippers' game Thursday against the Pacers.
ANALYSIS
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