Mar 20, 2013; Lexington, KY, USA; Bucknell Bison center Mike Muscala (31) speaks at a press conference during practice the day before the second round of the 2013 NCAA tournament at Rupp Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark Zerof-USA TODAY Sports

Mike Muscala Set to Join Atlanta Hawks

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In wake of the numerous injuries the Hawks have endured in the last few weeks, the team is now looking overseas for help for the depleted front court. Mike Muscala, who has spent this season in Spain, is now headed to Atlanta to sign a contract and join the Hawks, presumably sometime this week.

Rumors had been circulating about the Hawks reaching out and possible signing him and the move was first reported to be official by Encestando this morning. Rio Natura Monbus, the team Mike signed with back in August, issued a statement about Mike being officially bought out from his contract with the Spanish team. Here is the official release via Google Translate:

The Rio Natura Monbus, Atlanta Hawks and Mike Muscala have reached an agreement by which the player becomes part of the American team.

The player, who was coach in the past NBA draft by Dallas Mavericks in the second round (44th pick) signed for one season with the Galician club last summer. In the 20 games he has played under coach Moncho Fernández, center has averaged 14.6 points and 7.8 rebounds to 16.9 valuation.

The Rio Natura Monbus publicly thanked Mike Muscala, who received permission from the club to travel to the United States and the dedication shown in the five months that has defended the obradoirista shirt and wishes him well in the future of his promising career.

President (Raúl López) and the CEO (José Luis Mateo) Natura Monbus Rio will offer a press conference Tuesday at 18:30 pm in the Multipurpose Fontes do Sar, to address this situation.

The move will provide much needed depth for the Hawks, who have seen Al Horford, Pero Antic, Gustavo Ayon and Paul Millsap all suffer injuries this season. The buyout was likely in the works over the past two weeks and could have been the reasoning for the Hawks acquiring Antawn Jamison at the trade deadline last week as the Clippers sent cash along with the veteran forward. Dexter Pittman, who was signed to a 10 day contract over the weekend, will likely be released to make room for Muscala.

Mike was having a great season overseas before the move, but the buyout should help Monbus find a replacement for the young bigman. The Hawks have yet to make the move official, however the signing is expected to be made official once Mike arrives stateside.

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