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NBA Rumors: Mike Muscala, OG Anunoby, Jalen Brunson and Andrew Wiggins

The Detroit Pistons have officially bought out Mike Muscala earlier this evening.

ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski. who broke the news that the two sides were working on a buyout, said that a few playoff contending teams are interest in signing Muscala.

NBA Rumors: Mike Muscala, OG Anunoby, Jalen Brunson

Muscala played well for Detroit since coming over from Washington in mid-January. Muscala averaged 3.2 points and 2.5 rebounds while compiling a shooting line of .341/.382/.500 in 13 minutes over 13 appearances. He reached double-figures once for the Pistons and four times for the Wizards this season while also prodicing a +3.5 plus/minus rating.  However, the 33-year-old big man has not played in the Pistons’ last four games.

Muscala is a quality backup who can play both the four and five. The 6-11 veteran is pretty much strictly a floor spacer whether off a pick-and-pop or as a stand still shooter. He is a career 37.6% shooter from beyond the arc, making 40.1% of his corner threes.

Muscala is also a quality defensive rebounder who is a physical interior defender. Muscala can also defend bigs on the perimeter.

According to Woj, Muscala has some playoff contenders interested in signing him once he hits the waiver wire. But to be eligible to participate in the playoffs, Muscala must secure the buyout by Friday night. Per ESPN’s Bobby Marks, Muscala is due $905,000 for the remainder of the season.

Muscala likely gave up some of that money to secure his free agency. Muscala will clear waivers on Friday.

Who could be interested in Muscala?

The Golden State Warriors, Minnesota Timberwolves, Boston Celtics, New Orleans Pelicans, Phoenix Suns, Philadelphia 76ers, and the  New York Knicks immediately come to mind.

The Warriors have one open roster spot. The Dubs are always looking for size and depth up front. However, they appear to be set with Draymond Green and Jonathan Kuminga starting up front. Dario Saric, Andrew Wiggins, and Kevon Looney are the top bigs off the bench. However, Muscala would be an upgrade over Trayce Jackson-Davis for sixth on the depth chart.

The Celtics have one open spot and could use Muscala, who spent 20 games with the C’s a season ago, as an emergency type player.

The Pelicans will have one open spot after Jalen Crutcher‘s 10-day contract expires in a few days. While the Pels could benefit from the signing of Muscala, they could use another guard more.

The Suns have an open spot. They recently signed Thaddeus Young for the remainder of the season after being released by the Toronto Raptors.

The Timberwolves have potenatially two open roster spots after Justin Jackson’s 10-day expires in a few days. The Wolves could benefit by adding another frontcourt player.

The 76ers will have two open roster spots following the conclusion of Darius Bazley‘s 10-day deal on Friday. The Sixers are one of the teams who could most use Muscala, particularly with Joel Embiid remaining sidelined.

The Knicks have one open roster spot and could have two more once the players on 10-day contracts run out. Jacob Toppin and DaQuan Jeffries are the players on the 10-day deals. The Knicks desperately could use help in the frontcourt with injuries to OG Anunoby, Julius Randle, and Mitchell Robinson.

Joe Harris, Danuel House Jr., Robin Lopez, and perhaps Cory Joseph are the most likely players who have been bought out to sign with a playoff team.

Julius Randle and OG Anunoby Updates

Anunoby should get re-evaluated shortly, perhaps as early as tomorrow, according to Ian Begley of added that Anunoby has not started shooting but hasn’t suffered any setbacks. While there is no set timeline for his return, Anunoby could return in mid-March.

Randle hasn’t been cleared to practice, but Begley said there was no reason to believe he’d suffered any setback in his rehab.  Begley added that Randle could still undergo season-ending shoulder surgery. However, there is optimism that the 29-year-old power forward can return this season.

Begley said there is some risk of Randle returning this year:

One concern? The possibility of re-injury. If Randle plays and hurts his shoulder again, he could be left with a chronic condition limiting him well beyond this season. So, I think that’s a factor in any decisions made going forward. Randle, obviously, wants to play. He’s been working out twice a day to get back on the court. So all of those signs point to an eventual return. If I had to guess, Anunoby returns before Randle. But both players need to clear more hurdles before they can get back on the floor.

New York (35-24) has lost seven of their last 10. As a result of this swoon, the Knicks are just one and one-half games ahead of the Miami Heat and Philadelphia 76ers. The Knicks conclude their four-game homestand against Golden State on Thursday and may again be without Jalen Brunson.

Brunson missed Tuesday’s loss against New Orleans due to neck spasms. Meanwhile, Isaiah Hartenstein, who also sat out Tuesday, is off the injury report.  Hartenstein had missed four of the last seven games with a sore Achilles.

Andrew Wiggins Remains Out

The Golden State Warriors (30-27) are playing arguably their best basketball of the season, having won eight of their last 10. The Warriors got Chris Paul back last night. But it appears that they will be without Andrew Wiggins for the foreseeable future.

Wiggins is away from the team for personal reasons, and it is unknown when he will return.

“We don’t know,” Steve Kerr said when asked how long Wiggins will be out. “We’ll obviously respect Andrew’s wishes for this to remain private for private and personal reasons. Then we’ll just go from there.

Moses Moody started at small forward in the Warriors 123-112 victory over the Wizards. Moody contributed 12 points on 4 of 7 shooting, all four shots being triples, three rebounds and two steals. Moody, who will likely start against the Knicks, averages 13.6 points while compiling a shooting slash line of .571/.455/.769 as a starter.


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