Moritz Wagner became the second Michigan forward to declare for the NBA Draft on Monday. The 6-foot-11 sophomore joined teammate D.J. Wilson, announcing on Twitter that he will enter his name in the 2017 NBA Draft, but won’t hire an agent.
Wagner was a key component of Michigan’s Bit Ten Tournament title and NCAA Tournament run. The forward from Germany was all over the court this postseason, including scoring a career-high 26 points on 11-of-14 shooting against Louisville to send Michigan to the Sweet 16.
The postseason success capped off a breakout sophomore season for Wagner, who was a consensus honorable mention All-Big Ten selection after averaging 12.1 points, 4.2 rebounds and 1.0 steals per game on the season.
Wagner is a mobile, thin big man who can beat you from deep, shooting 39.5 percent from behind the arc this season. Despite his skinny frame, Wagner also showed the ability, and willingness, to mix it up on the defensive end, although NBA teams will need him to improve his play on that end of the court and in the post.
Wagner took a huge leap forward this season after averaging 2.9 points and 1.6 rebounds in 8.6 minutes per game as a freshman. That improvement should have scouts feeling good about where the 19-year-old Wagner can go from here.
It isn’t likely that Wagner would be drafted this year, unless he can really impress in the workout process. The more likely scenario is that Wagner returns for his junior season, where he will be the go-to guy with the departures of Derrick Walton Jr. and Zak Irvin.