Mike Muscala ’13 traded from Philadelphia to L.A. Clippers

Elise Covert and Patrick Dempsey, Print Managing Co-Editor and Sports Editor

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In an early-morning blockbuster deal on Feb. 6, the Philadelphia 76ers traded Mike Muscala ’13 to the Los Angeles Clippers. Muscala, who is the University’s only alumnus to play in the NBA, was with the Sixers for under a season. He will go to L.A. along with teammates Landry Shamet and Wilson Chandler, as well as four draft picks. In return, the Sixers acquire Tobias Harris, Boban Marjanovic, and Mike Scott, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reports.

 

According to University Athletics, Muscala was scheduled to be on campus for the Patriot League rivalry men’s basketball game against Lehigh on Feb. 11. However, despite the disappointment of foiled plans, Athletics reiterated their support for Muscala and their pride of him.

 

“Wherever Mike is, we’ll always root for Mike,” Senior Associate Director of Athletics Todd Newcomb said.

 

Muscala is expected to start for the Clippers and to play significant minutes, at least while Danilo Gallinari, Chandler, and Luc Mbah a Moute are out with injuries. The Clippers impressed many around the NBA with a strong start to their season, occupying the top seed in the Western Conference up until Dec. 5. The last two months have not been kind to Doc Rivers’ squad, though. They are currently hanging on to the final playoff spot in the West, but this trade will not help their chances of getting to postseason play. Their diminished playoff hopes do not matter too much to the organization, as their focus is on rebuilding and making room for acquiring superstar Kawhi Leonard this summer.

 

Back in Philadelphia, with a starting lineup including Joel Embiid, Ben Simmons, JJ Redick, Jimmy Butler, and Harris, the Sixers may have become the favorite to win the Eastern Conference with this trade. According to NBC Sports Philadelphia, Harris is an all-star caliber player who can provide a boost to a team that is already regarded as a final contender.

 

“We think this trade positions us well for the postseason,” 76ers General Manager Elton Brand said. “All three players bring high character to our locker room and we are excited about their fit alongside Joel [Embiid], Ben [Simmons], Jimmy [Butler], and our entire roster.”

 

Brand called Muscala, along with Chandler and Shamet, “great teammates and contributors, and consummate professionals,” according to NBA.com. Muscala was averaging 7.4 points and 4.3 rebounds in 22.1 minutes per game this season in Philadelphia. He came to the City of Brotherly Love from the Atlanta Hawks in July 2018.

 

“I’m loving the city of Philly. The fans are super passionate, and as a player, that’s what you want–being able to play for fans who are super into it,” Muscala said in a Jan. 7 interview with The Bucknellian.

 

Will the fans in the Staples Center support Muscala the same way Sixers fans have had his back this season? Only time will tell if the enthusiasm in L.A. will match the cheers of Moose’s name at the Wells Fargo Center.

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