Atlanta Hawks: What’s Next for Mike Scott?


How is Mike Scott’s offseason going? Not great, Bob! In case you haven’t heard, the Atlanta Hawks’ power forward was arrested for possession of marijuana and MDMA (molly) back in the middle of July.

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Scott and his brother led police on a brief car chase, his brother was driving, before being apprehended. After the arrest Scott admitted that all the drugs in the car belonged to him.

Now, the debate about whether or not recreational drugs should be legal is never ending in this country, but the fact of the matter is both of these drugs are illegal in Georgia. Scott showed a severe lack of good judgment and deserves to be punished.

I’m no legal expert, yet I’d be shocked if something so trivial ended in any jail time. Yes, the amount he was stopped with is considered a felony, but Scott can probably afford a good lawyer if he hasn’t spent all his money on drugs. Ending up in jail for some pot and some molly would be a bit ridiculous.

Even if he avoids serious legal punishment, he could still face punishment from the league. Will he be suspended by the NBA or the Hawks? It’s certainly possible. I doubt they would release him as he still has two more guaranteed years left on this contract.

However, if he misses any time due to his legal troubles he could lose his spot in the rotation. Last season Scott battled through injuries to play in 68 games. In 16.5 minutes a night Scott scored 7.8 points and grabbed 2.9 rebounds per game. He shot 34.4 percent from outside, and only 44.4 percent from the field.

Scott was even worse in the playoffs, averaging a dismal 4.5 points per game on 38.2 percent from the field and 15.4 percent from three-point range. Cue Pete Campbell yelling at Bob Benson again!

Those aren’t the numbers of a player than can get popped for felony drug possession and not worry about losing his minutes. Especially when the Hawks have a readymade replacement on their roster.

Mike Muscala only played in 40 games last season, but he flashed an impressive skillset. The 24-year-old out of Bucknell scored only 4.9 points per game, but he shot 55 percent from the field and knocked down 40.9 percent of the three-point shots he attempted. His PER was 18.08 during that time, though he only played 12.6 minutes per game, so the small sample size warning applies.

At 6-foot-11 he gives the Hawks more size at the stretch-four position off the bench, giving him yet another advantage over Scott. He’s tall, he can shoot, and he hasn’t been arrested for drug possession this summer. That makes him a triple threat.

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  • The emergence of Muscala gives Atlanta the luxury of casting Scott aside if he gets suspended or if they don’t feel like he is worth the trouble anymore. Then again, Coach Mike Budenholzer did have a DUI in the summer of 2013 and the Hawks stuck by him. Perhaps they’ll show Scott the same kind of loyalty.

    What will actually happen this season is anyone’s best guess. Scott could get punished, he could lose his spot in the rotation, or he could receive a slap on the wrist and slide back into his usual spot. At this point none of these options would be shocking.

    Next: Paul Millsap vs. LaMarcus Aldridge

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