Center No. 3: Mike Muscala, Boston Celtics
Here’s where we depart from the former Nuggets who play sort of like Nikola Jokic. Mike Muscala is now playing for his fifth NBA team in nine NBA seasons, and he has a singular skillset on offense: bombs away.
Muscala has been a fan favorite across his stops in Atlanta, Philadelphia and Oklahoma City as he plays hard, sets screens, and most important loves to launch 3-pointers. A stretch-5 that can survive defensively is a useful bench weapon in the NBA, and Muscala fits the bill exactly. That’s why the Boston Celtics, the Nuggets’ counterparts in the East, brought him aboard for the stretch run.
Placing Muscala on the court when Jokic sat would open up the court for a non-shooter like Bruce Brown to go to work running the second unit. Muscala is king of the pick-and-pop, and the spacing he provides is invaluable. Now, he’s no rim protector, can’t create his own shot and his passing is like Mirror Universe Jokic, but he’s a solid player on a small contract that would have given the Nuggets a different look off of the bench.
None of these centers are perfect; that’s why they were available at the Trade Deadline and gettable for a Nuggets team without a first-round pick to trade. Thomas Bryant might be a great fit, but all of these centers were intriguing options to consider as well. Did Denver get it right?