At the 2018-19 NBA trade deadline, the Los Angeles Lakers traded Ivica Zubac and Michael Beasley to the Los Angeles Clippers for Mike Muscala to provide three-point shooting.
Through all of the injuries and Anthony Davis trade rumors, the Zubac-Muscala trade was criticized, to say the least.
As Zubac continued his solid play to help the Clippers make the 2019 NBA playoffs, Muscala struggled from the three-point line and missed 10 out of the team’s 26 games.
With the Lakers patiently waiting on Kawhi Leonard’s decision, Muscala reportedly signed with the Oklahoma City Thunder, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN:
Free agent F/C Mike Muscala has agreed to a deal with the Oklahoma City Thunder, agent Sean Kennedy of Excel Sports tells ESPN.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) July 1, 2019
When the Lakers did not re-sign Brook Lopez, they signed Beasley as his replacement. As Beasley missed much of the season to be with his mother who passed away, it became evident they needed a stretch-five to make a playoff push.
Unfortunately, Muscala could not live up to the label and the Lakers missed the playoffs for the sixth straight season.
As the Lakers move forward without Muscala, all of the attention is on Leonard. With most of the All-Star players already making their decisions, it appears the Lakers are his best option if he does not re-sign with the Toronto Raptors.
Depending on what happens, it will be interesting to see how general manager Rob Pelinka fills out the roster once the Davis trade is officially completed. With only four players under contract, there is still a lot of work to be done.