3 reasons why Mike Muscala signing was perfect move for Thunder

Portland Trail Blazers v Oklahoma City Thunder
Portland Trail Blazers v Oklahoma City Thunder / Ian Maule/GettyImages

When the OKC Thunder opted to waive Aleksej Pokusevski the move raised some eyebrows due to the timing, suggesting that perhaps Sam Presti had another roster move in mind -- Indeed he did.

Although NBA rosters are not officially set for the playoffs until April 15, 2024, Oklahoma City made their unofficial final tweak on Friday afternoon, adding veteran sharpshooter and former fan favorite Mike Muscala.

Why did the Thunder opt to bring back Muscala? There is not one singular reason, but there are a few, in particular, that suggest he just may have been the perfect addition to this young and promising squad.

3. Familiar presence

This will mark Muscala's second stint with the Thunder, as the first came over the span of four seasons from 2019-2023 before the team opted to send Muscala to the Boston Celtics at last year's trade deadline so he could have a chance to win a title.

Ironically, fast forward to the present day and he finds himself back in OKC as the club ascends toward the championship contender status themselves.

Because Muscala has already played with 11 current Thunder players, four of whom are starters and three who serve as regular rotation players, this familiarity could be vital to helping him reacclimate to the team, not only on the hardwood but also within the locker room.

Another intriguing aspect of the Muscala addition is the fact that he and Holmgren are both Minnesota natives, as it now adds a personal touch along with the roster depth.

2. Adding additional size and shooting

Last season, Muscala was one of 13 qualified players to average one 3-point make per game while shooting at least 39 percent or better among players 6-foot-10 or taller. Speaking of height, Muscala will be tied for the second tallest player on the team with Ousmane Dieng, while trailing only rookie Chet Holmgren.

Now, Muscala has struggled shooting the ball this season, particularly while he was in Washington where he cashed in on just 27.5 percent of his long-range attempts, but his percentage picked up with the Pistons, improving to a 38.2 percent clip on 2.6 attempts through 13 games played.

Given how well the Thunder have already shot the ball this season, there is no reason to think his hot shooting won't continue, especially because he will undoubtedly get some wide-open looks with his improved supporting cast.

1. Added roster flexibility

Thunder head coach Mark Daigneault has opted for a large rotation this season. Frankly, it's not all that unusual to see Oklahoma City go 10 deep into their bench most nights, however, some of these young players are unlikely to see the court in the playoffs outside of, say, garbage time.

That said, Daigneault may not want to lose such flexibility in the postseason, so the Thunder added three vets since the trade deadline.

At this point, it is unknown how heavily or sparingly the trio of Muscala, Bismack Biyombo, and their lone splashy trade acquisition Gordon Hayward will see playing time come the postseason, but the best problem a head coach can have is having an abundance of options.

What do you think of the Mike Muscala signing, Thunder fans? Do you think he will help, or should they have targeted a different player?

Sound off in the comments below.