While Muscala was acquired as a potential cheap alternative to Grant Williams if the impending restricted free agent did sign elsewhere, there’s a chance that he can find himself off the team in the offseason himself.
For one, his $3.5 million salary could be used as salary filler in a deal for a larger fish should the Boston Celtics aggressively hunt for upgrades in the offseason — that, of course, would be the result of this roster being physically overmatched in the postseason against a team like the Bucks, 76ers, or Knicks.
That $3.5 million isn’t even guaranteed, though. If Muscala continues to struggle as he has in March, the big man could just be cut with no consequences for the Celtics front office. That’s not likely, since his expiring deal would be, at worst, something that could get a rebuilding team to sell off a veteran on a multi-year deal.
Still, Muscala has a lot to prove over these next few months. Brad Stevens seems sold on Luke Kornet, who’s got a partially guaranteed salary in 2022-23, and Williams, for all we know, could remain in Boston. If Muscala has no clear contributions he can bring to help the team win now, he could be gone in the offseason.