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Mike Muscala reveals why he didn’t back out of agreement with Thunder after Paul George, Russell Westbrook trades

Mike Muscala, Thunder, Russell Westbrook, Paul George

Mike Muscala agreed to a deal with the Oklahoma City Thunder this summer before the franchise traded stars Paul George and Russell Westbrook.

After the Thunder traded George and Westbrook, they told Muscala he could seek out another contract on the open market if he wanted to.

Muscala, though, decided to honor his agreement with OKC because he really liked the vibe he was getting from the Thunder.

“I was intrigued then by a new situation. Obviously, at the beginning, the team and how it was structured was very intriguing. And that’s what I agreed to. But then even when that changed, I think because my feelings just were so good about the organization, it stuck with me,” Muscala told Brett Dawson of The Athletic.

“And I just felt that even despite the change in the roster, the personnel, that it would still be a good opportunity for me and that there would still be a lot that I could learn. I’ve never played the game with the approach that ‘Oh, I just want to win a championship.’ It’s never been like that. For me, it’s been more about the people I meet and have met throughout my career who I stay in touch with. I think that’s what’s so cool about basketball.

“Being on the Sixers and the Lakers last year with a couple of younger guys, I really enjoyed getting to know them more. I’m not saying I was a big mentor to them, but just kind of taking them under my wing a little bit and talking to them. Maybe going out to dinner here there and just kind of throwing some ideas at them and things that I had learned through my first couple of years. That was really valuable to me. It felt good. And I felt that on this team now, with a lot of younger players, there would be an opportunity to do that.”

Mike Muscala put up 7.0 points, 3.8 rebounds and 1.2 assists in 64 games with the Philadelphia 76ers and Los Angeles Lakers last season. He shot 40.2 percent from the field, 34.8 percent from beyond the arc and 82.4 percent from the free-throw line.

The Thunder will have a difficult time making the playoffs next season in the rugged Western Conference, but are hoping veterans such as Muscala, Chris Paul, Steven Adams, Danilo Gallinari, Nerlens Noel and Dennis Schroder can push the team to the postseason.