While an Anthony Davis deal never came to fruition, the Los Angeles Lakers remained active prior to the NBA Trade Deadline, acquiring Mike Muscala from the crosstown Clippers in exchange for Michael Beasley and Ivica Zubac.
It marked the second time in as many days Muscala found himself on the move, as he was also part of a six-player trade that sent All-Star forward Tobias Harris to the Philadelphia 76ers.
Lakers general manager Rob Pelinka acknowledged the difficulty of parting ways with Zubac, but highlighted Muscala’s shooting ability that made him an ideal fit for the team, via Spectrum SportsNet:
“When we took a look at our five spot, we had three elite rim protectors-rim rollers. We felt like we wanted to diversify that position a little bit. It was hard to trade Zu, a great young player, but we feel like Muscala and spread the floor and add a stretch five, play some four as well. Just open the court for our drivers, like, Rondo, LeBron, Brandon Ingram, Lonzo when he comes back, I think it’s important. We just felt like if we tweaked our roster a little bit from a chemistry standpoint and added some shooting, if we could just make that push and get that eighth spot or seventh spot, get in the playoffs and then let a player like LeBron do what he does in the playoffs.”
Muscala, a sharpshooting big man that can help spread the floor, adds offense and positional versatility to the Lakers. He can play the four or serve as a stretch five that the team has lacked since Brook Lopez’s departure in free agency.
Muscala made two 3-pointers in his Lakers debut against the 76ers. However, he also suffered a sprained ankle that then kept him out in a loss to the Atlanta Hawks, another former team of Muscala’s.
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