Over the weekend, Moritz Wagner announced that he would be declaring for the 2018 NBA Draft and will be hiring an agent. This marks the end of his three-year career in Ann Arbor and the Michigan Wolverines will now have to move on without the German forward.
In an article linked above, Wagner wrote extensively for The Player’s Tribune about his background as a player and what went into his decision. Additionally, he wrote about his dreams and what it means for him to declare for the NBA.
During his three seasons in Ann Arbor, Wagner played in a total of 107 games and averaged an impressive 14.6 points and 7.1 rebounds in his final season. Notably, Wagner was named to the 2018 All-NCAA Tournament team after helping to push Michigan to the national championship game in his final season with the program.
Perhaps nothing stands out more about Wagner’s career with the Wolverines than his performances in the postseason. He was dynamic in his final two Big Ten Tournaments and put up monster numbers against Louisville in the NCAA Tournament in 2017 and in Michigan’s win over Loyola (Chicago) in this year’s Final Four.
Despite these accomplishments, however, Wagner actually arrived on Michigan’s campus without much fanfare. He was rated as a four-star by 247Sports, but received mixed attention from the other recruiting services as an international prospect. Wagner was also essentially ignored by the rest of the Big Ten.
For Michigan, there’s no denying this is significant news. Wagner was the team’s most productive offensive option and likely the team’s best player overall as well. The Wolverines wouldn’t have been anywhere near the Final Four without him on the roster. As such, John Beilein and his staff will have some work cut out to replace Wagner for next year.
The good news for Wolverine fans is that the roster does have some solid depth to help as the team moves forward. Jon Teske will be back for his junior season and the team will also return depth pieces in Austin Davis and Isaiah Livers. The Wolverines will also be adding three-star prospect Colin Castleton.
There’s no telling how Michigan will respond without Wagner next season, but fans will certainly be disappointed to see him depart. Most Draft projections have Wagner going somewhere in the second round.