Last offseason Oklahoma City Thunder GM Sam Presti hopped on a plane and flew to Minnesota to meet with Mike Muscala. In the midst of the chaos surrounding the organization, Presti wanted to ensure he could sign the stretch big. After a dramatic roster turnover that leaves Hamidou Diallo as the longest-tenured Thunder player, Muscala still decided to pick up his 2.2 million dollar player option and remain on a team entering a rebuild. Who knows if Presti taking the time to meet with him face to face a year ago is the reason why, but it certainly did not hurt.
In his first year in Oklahoma City, Mike Muscala was a third-string center, playing just 12.2 minutes per game and averaging 4.8 points per contest. This year, after a plethora of roster moves, he should expand his role.
Muscala proved that he can bring fire from beyond the arc throughout his entire NBA career, including that unforgettable Bubble Buzzer Beater that cost the Thunder their draft pick. With Steven Adams and Nerlens Noel no longer on the team, Muscala will have the chance to play more minutes. If Muscala, Aleksej Pokusevski, and Al Horford can bring consistent shooting, the Thunder can add a new layer to their offense in a way that fans have not experienced before.
Mike Muscala said during Media Week that he is really excited about the player development route the team is going. He mentions that they will work on their games each and every day. For this season, Muscala will likely hit his career averages. A stat line that looks like 15 minutes per game, five points a contest, and stroking the trey ball at a 36% clip. The minutes he shares on the floor with Shai Gilgeous-Alexander will be valuable as Muscala can space the floor for the young Point Guard trying to learn his new role.