How the Atlanta Hawks maintain Mike Muscala's rights

James Lang-US PRESSWIRE

Mike Muscala signed overseas -- how are the Hawks able to keep his rights -- and for how long?

It's a good question -- and not just because I am the one who is asking.

Wednesday night, Mike Muscala broke the news that he was going to sign with Blusens Monbus Obradoiro for next season. That's in Spain.

The immediate question is if the Hawks maintain the rights to Muscala while he is playing overseas.

Per Larry Coon's essential CBAFAQ, the Hawks have to submit a required tender else that second round pick would become a free agent on September 6th. The window for teams to submit this tender begins around two weeks before this deadline.

This tender would normally be for the league minimum and would retain the rights for that player until the next draft (assuming he's not playing in another pro league) or a year after the player's contract with the other team ends.

Submitting the tender in this case is a formality, given the Hawks interest in Muscala, the fact he is signed overseas and that Muscala does not have to accept the tender for the Hawks to maintain his rights.

The tender does not count against the team's cap space, but does count when calculating cap-exception status.

Any second round pick would have until October 15th to accept this tender and join the team.

How this situation differs from the Keith Benson pick of a few years back is that the Hawks likely did not offer Benson any tender, which is why Benson ended up in the D-League, playing for 30K rather than with the Hawks. The Hawks did not retain Benson's rights until the next draft due to the lack of tender offered.

(Update: I had forgotten, likely due to the lockout that offseason, that Benson did sign a contract and then was waived by the Hawks before the season, after Ivan Johnson beat him out for the roster. H/T to Scott Schroeder for pointing that out.

Still, if a player wasn't offered the required tender, he would be a free agent on September 6th and the Hawks would lose his rights, even if he played overseas.)

The Hawks had to do the same for Lucas Nogueira by July 16th and thus maintain his rights as well should he play overseas again.

UPDATE: Danny Ferry issues a statement on Muscala signing in Spain:

From the team release Thursday afternoon:

"This is a great opportunity for Mike to play for a quality program in a strong league," said Hawks President of Basketball Operations/GM Danny Ferry. "We are excited to closely monitor his growth as he further prepares himself for the NBA game."

GROUP QUESTION: Clear as dirt? Muddy as ever? Fire away your cap questions around this in the Comments area.

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