Five questions with Mike Muscala

Mike Muscala of the Atlanta Hawks blocks a shot by Bradley Beal of the Washington Wizards in the first half of Game 2 of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals during the 2017 NBA Playoffs at Verizon Center on April 19, 2017 in Washington, D.C. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)

Most Hawks players held exit interviews with the media last week following the season-ending playoff loss to the Wizards. Over the next few days I will post five questions with some of those players to give some insight into their season and offseason plans.

Today: Mike Muscala, who will be an unrestricted free agent.

Q. What are your thoughts about becoming an unrestricted free agent because this is new territory for you?

A. It’s new territory. I’m going to take some time to decompress after the season. You are very emotionally involved. It’s a long season. There were ups and downs along the way. Take some time and take it day by day from there.

Q. Would you like it if it worked out to remain here?

A. Absolutely. Obviously, this is where I was drafted. Atlanta is a special place for me. I feel like the organization is headed in the right direction with the ownership and the coaching staff, practice facility. I’ve loved my time here. It’s sure a lot warmer than where I’m from in Minnesota. That doesn’t hurt either.

Q. Did they give you any indication how much they want to have you back?

A. We haven’t talked much yet. It’s business. Right now, it’s just reflecting back on the season and taking some time most importantly.

Q. What are your summer plans as far as continuing to work on your game?

A. For sure, taking time for my body. I’m always trying to get stronger. Just continuing to be mindful of the right schedule for the summer. As the years go by you start to better understand how to schedule my summer and do the right amount. Obviously, skill-wise I want to continue to improve my shooting, my versatility and strength for me defensively can help a lot and that will be another focus for me.

Q. The league is moving toward valuing bigs who can stretch the floor. Does that encourage you that there will be callers?

A. That was my focus last summer to really improve my 3-point shooting. But it’s not like I can just stop working on it. I want to continue to do that. There are more slightly contested shots as far as just open shots. There are levels to everything. I enjoy that part of the offseason of coming up with a plan and thinking of ways to improve and be mindful of it.


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