Oklahoma City Thunder re-sign Mike Muscala on a two-year deal

Mike Muscala #33 of the Oklahoma City Thunder (Photo by Jacob Kupferman/Getty Images)
Mike Muscala #33 of the Oklahoma City Thunder (Photo by Jacob Kupferman/Getty Images) /

The Oklahoma City Thunder have capped off a brilliant offseason, and now it is time just to sit and wait for training camp which is *checks watch frantically* five weeks away! From hiring a brand new shooting coach that is regarded as the best in the business, stealing away a well-respected long-term front office executive from the 76ers, re-signing Lu Dort to a massive contract, extending Kenrich Williams, cleaning up the 2022 NBA Draft, and now the official terms on Mike Muscala re-signing in Bricktown have been released.

While we already knew Muscala was returning to the Oklahoma City Thunder, today, the contract details of the deal were found out by Front Office insider and Spotrac writer Keith Smith the OKC Thunder have inked Mike Muscala to a two-year contract worth 7 million dollars. Each season is fully guaranteed at 3.5-million while the second season is a team option for Sam Presti and the Oklahoma City Thunder.

The Oklahoma City Thunder officially re-sign veteran big man Mike Muscala, continuing his tenure in Bricktown with a two-year deal

Amid the OKC Thunder shifting their organization into rebuild mode, trading away MVP candidate at the time Paul George and face of the franchise and former-MVP Russell Westbrook in the same offseason, Thunder General Manager Sam Presti made time to fly to Minnesota and have an in-home free agency visit with Mike Muscala.

Presti convinced Muscala to join the OKC Thunder, and he has played three years in Bricktown since, averaging five points and three rebounds per game, on 40 percent shooting from beyond the arc.

Now, the Bucknell product re-ups with OKC for two additional seasons. This might leave fans wondering, what is the plan? Why did Presti re-sign a 31-year-old big man who will not consistently find himself in Mark Daigneault’s rotation this year due to the team prioritizing development?

The answer is simple, you can afford to “give away” a roster spot in the NBA. Look at the Miami Heat with Udonis Haslem, or even the Thunder with Nick Collison. While those two players played their primes with their respective organizations and Collison has his jersey hanging in the rafters with Haslem in line to have the same done for him when he retires, one spot will not swing the season one way or another.

Heck, during the peak of contention in OKC, Presti often operated with an open roster spot for the majority of the season. In three seasons with the Thunder, Muscala has developed a strong relationship with his teammates as a veteran presence and the community as a whole. So much so, that he let us in on a moment of vulnerability, breaking down into tears when explaining how much this organization means to him.

That is the player you want ushering in the new era of Thunder basketball. So sure, he might not log a ton of minutes but Haslem has played in less than 20 games each of the past six seasons for Miami. At the end of his career, Collison spent his final two seasons averaging less than seven minutes per game and playing in 20 and 15 games respectively before transitioning into a front-office role.

Muscala has value on this roster, even if we will not get to see it in a day-to-day sense on the court. While I do not think this will come into play, adding the team option for next season (2023-24) allows him to be traded this year without a no-trade clause.

Next. Did the 2022 OKC Thunder draft class accelerate the rebuild?. dark