‘Hard to Foresee’ Pistons Big Man Returning to Celtics, Says Analyst

Mike Muscala

Getty Mike Muscala

Another player has hit the buyout market: former Boston Celtics center Mike Muscala. ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported on February 27 via his X account that the Detroit Pistons are about to finalize a buyout with Muscala.

Muscala is an option for the Celtics (more on this later), but MassLive’s Brian Robb explained why he doesn’t think a reunion is in the cards.

“With multiple contenders appearing to have interest in Muscala, it’s hard to foresee a reunion in Boston at this point unless the big man is set on securing the best possible chance to win a ring,” Robb wrote in a February 28 story.

Robb added what other teams can offer for Muscala that the Celtics can’t.

“Several Eastern Conference teams are battling injuries to key big men, which could give Muscala a chance at playing time off the bench for a squad like the 76ers or potentially the Knicks, among others.”

The Celtics added Xavier Tillman to a frontcourt rotation of Kristaps Porzingis, Al Horford, Luke Kornet, and Neemias Queta. Mike Muscala would add more depth, but playing time would be sparse for him in Boston.

Despite the Celtics’ appeal as a title contender, players like Muscala want to stay in the NBA more than they want to win a championship because they want to play.

Celtics Can Legally Re-Acquire Mike Muscala

Mike Muscala did not play for the Celtics for long. The Celtics acquired him from the Thunder before the 2023 NBA Trade Deadline. He played 26 games combined for Boston in both the regular season and postseason. The Celtics then traded him the following offseason.

The Celtics traded Muscala to the Washington Wizards in their deal for Kristaps Porzingis in 2023. Due to CBA rules, the NBA prohibits teams from legally re-acquiring players they traded away for a year. This means that, had Muscala stayed with the Wizards, the Celtics had to wait until the offseason to bring him back.

However, that rule became void when the Wizards traded him to the Pistons because it only applies to the last team that traded him. When Muscala clears waivers, the Celtics can legally sign him. If the Wizards had bought him out instead, they wouldn’t be allowed to.

Mike Muscala Enjoyed His Time in Boston

Though the Celtics traded Mike Muscala away shortly after acquiring him, he had no hard feelings toward the team.

In an interview with CLNS Media’s Bobby Manning, Muscala raved about his short time in Boston.

“I had a great time,” Muscala told Manning in a September 14 interview. “It was one of my favorite experiences playing basketball. It was a great city. I speak so highly of the city and of the team when people ask what it was like. The fans were amazing. They love their basketball, and they were very supportive. I just really enjoyed getting to know the city, getting to learn about the history of the area, having some friends and family come out and visit, and playing at the Garden, man, it was awesome. A lot of really fun memories.”

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