The Orlando Magic selected Michigan Wolverines star wing Franz Wagner with the No. 8 overall pick in the first round of Thursday night’s 2021 NBA Draft, fulfilling the lottery pick potential so many thought he had.
Wagner now joins his brother, Moritz Wagner, in the NBA. Moe was the 25th overall pick of the Los Angeles Lakers in 2018 and now plays for the Orlando Magic. The brothers are together!
Wagner averaged 12.5 points on 48% shooting and 6.5 rebounds this past season while showing growth across the board. He tripled his freshman year assists average and displayed the ability to play the role of a ball-screen guard. At the other end of the floor, his length and athleticism allowed him to disrupt opposing offenses by way of steals, blocks and deflections. By the end of the season, he established himself as one of the nation’s best two-way players.
NBA scout’s take on Wagner:
“In two years at Michigan, he got a lot better in year two. Way more competitive, got to see him impact the game defensively. I think he’s a smart player, and I think he’s got a high ceiling, too. There’s still a lot of potential, and at 6-9, he moves really well. I think the jump shot will keep getting better and better, getting more consistent. That’s probably a big piece for him to stay in the league. He’s got a lot of tools athletically and skill-wise and I like his ability to defend multiple positions. He’s versatile and I think he’s going to be a player who can do a lot of things with and without the ball as he gets older.”
Both the first and second rounds of the NBA Draft will take place on Thursday night, followed by players signing as undrafted free agents ahead of Summer League action next month. Isaiah Livers, Mike Smith and Chaundee Brown are Michigan’s three other prospect who are waiting for their NBA futures to be revealed.