The Detroit Muscle are starved for offense. In 2018, the Muscle scored 96.8 ppg, "good" for 13th in the conference and 22nd overall in the OBWL. They missed the playoffs. They dipped even further in 2019, having one of the worst scoring teams (14th CR/26th TR) scoring just 89.7 ppg. They missed the playoffs. In the first 21 games of the 2020 season, the Muscle found themselves once again in a huge hole, thanks to a paltry 92.4 ppg (14th CR/27th TR). Part of the reason for their offensive woes has been C Shawn Pace, who has fallen steadily since 2017 and is now essentially an offensive black hole at the center position (3.9 ppg, 0.74 PPS, .354 TS%). So with the team in a 8 team fight for 2 playoff spots, GM Mark Sands could no longer afford to play 4-on-5 offense. After giving some consideration to turning the starting center job over to 22-year-old Darrick Vanpelt (8.3 ppg in 18 mpg), the Muscle instead pulled the trigger on a deal that brought veteran C Gene Cantell to Detroit with SF Ken Gary in exchange for Pace's expiring salary.
"Gene Cantell is an institution in this league and we couldn't be happier to have him in Detroit for the next three seasons," stated GM Mark Sands. "Even at 32, he is one of the biggest, strongest guys in the league and plays up to his body. He can score from anywhere, pulls in his fair share of rebounds, passes, blocks shots, and most importantly can stay on the floor. Most importantly, the man is a winner. He was the 2016 Finals MVP and brings the kind of veteran leadership we've lacked for a long, long time."
In his very brief stint with the Enforcers, Cantell averaged 10.1 ppg, 8.0 rpg, 2.0 apg, and 1.2 bpg while playing 30+ mpg. "I'm happy to be back in the OBWL's best conference. Detroit has a pretty nice young team. I called Hollis [Warren, Cantell's Anaheim teammate from 2014-2016] and he told me there are some exciting things happening here. I want to get back to the playoffs and maybe show the Archers what a huge mistake they made not bringing me back. I think I can accomplish that here in Detroit."
Cantell will join a recently reshuffled Muscle lineup, that saw Warren brought back into the starting lineup and #2 overall pick Xander Remington forcing his way into the rotation, with 11.9 ppg, 3.0 rpg, 3.9 apg over the past 7 games (27.3 mpg).