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Hawks sign 2013 2nd-round pick Mike Muscala

AP - Sports

ATLANTA (AP) -- The short-handed Atlanta Hawks signed center Mike Muscala, a 2013 second-round draft pick, on Thursday after completing the buyout of his Spanish League contract.

Muscala (6-11, 230) averaged 14.6 points and led the ACB League in Spain with 7.8 rebounds per game.

The Hawks have lost 10 of 11 games to sink from third to eighth in the Eastern Conference standings. Injuries on the front line have been a major factor.

General manager Danny Ferry said Muscala, 22, can provide help for the remainder of the season. The Hawks also will have a chance to determine if Muscala can have a role with the team in the future.

''We are really excited that Mike was available to join our team,'' Ferry said. ''We've closely monitored Mike and his progress throughout the ACB season.''

Ferry said the ACB's Blusens Monbus Obradoiro team ''did an excellent job with his continued development.''

''Due to our current injuries, Mike's representatives presented the concept of Mike joining us for the remainder of the season,'' Ferry said. ''With our roster situation and his strong play, we felt now was a good time to add Mike to our program.''

The Hawks lost All-Star center Al Horford to a season-ending surgery for his torn right pectoral muscle in December. Horford's replacement, Pero Antic, has missed 16 games with a stress fracture in his right ankle. Gustavo Ayon, who took over for Antic, has missed five games with a right shoulder injury.

Also, All-Star forward Paul Millsap has missed three games with a right knee contusion.

Muscala is Bucknell's all-time scoring leader with 2,036 points from 2009-13. The native of St. Louis Park, Minn., finished second on the school's career lists in rebounds and blocked shots.

The Hawks held NBA rights to Muscala as he played in the ACB League. Details of the buyout agreement were not released.

The Hawks released center Dexter Pittman, who signed a 10-day contract on Saturday, to open a roster spot for Muscala.

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