Houston Rockets DeMarcus Cousins replacement #2: Mike Muscala
Mike Muscala is not all that much younger, smaller, or faster than DeMarcus Cousins but he has been a whole lot more productive this season. For the season, Muscala is averaging 9.8 points on 44-percent shooting from the field and 36.4-percent from 3-point range.
Muscala takes the vast majority of his shots from behind the arc, which drags down his overall field goal percentage, but he has converted 60.9-percent of his 2-point attempts. Comparing his and Cousins’ effective field goal percentage, which weights the fact that threes are more valuable than twos, Muscala comes out ahead 56.5-percent compared to 46.9-percent.
If the Rockets want a stop-gap solution to their frontcourt problems Muscala is a fantastic option. He can play as a credible stretch five and his shooting would allow him to play some minutes with Chrisitan Wood. The cost of acquiring Muscala from the Oklahoma City Thunder shouldn’t be all that high either.
Muscala is a backup and unless a contender goes crazy it shouldn’t cost anything more than a second-round pick to land him. If the Rockets can’t find a DeMarcus Cousins replacement that has the chance to be a long-term option then Muscala can come in, mop up minutes, hit some treys, and maybe be re-signed for a pittance in the offseason.