On Tuesday, the Michigan Wolverines got some big news as star forward Franz Wagner declared for the 2021 NBA Draft. He put together an outstanding career in Ann Arbor and will now take his talents to the next level. This was an anticipated decision, but was made official by Michigan’s athletic department on Tuesday.
Franz Wagner has made his decision to leave early for the @NBADraft ... Take a minute to read his letter to 〽️ Nation from the @PlayersTribune— Michigan Men's Basketball (@umichbball) May 4, 2021
Letter | https://t.co/EWb4MdLgED
Release | https://t.co/56GmKaupiA#GoBlue 〽️ #ForCompetitorsOnly pic.twitter.com/Ps45mAMSBU
During his two seasons in Ann Arbor, Wagner played in 55 total games and averaged an impressive 31.7 minutes, 12.5 points, 6.5 rebounds, and 3.0 assists in his final season with the program. He arrived as a highly rated recruit and lived up to the hype, earning All-Freshman honors in his first year and All-Big Ten honors last year.
From a Draft perspective, Wagner is considered a potential Lottery pick, ranking as the 15th best prospect available by The Athletic’s Sam Vecenie. He’s seen as a player with tremendous defensive potential who can still grow to be a role player offensively. Whether he ends up making the Lottery will depend extensively on his performance in Draft workouts.
Unfortunately for Michigan, there’s really no replacing a player like Wagner. He was a a Swiss army knife, contributing in a variety of different ways. You can find a player or two who can help you replace some of those numbers, but nobody can replicate his game completely. The good news is several returners like Brandon Johns and the program’s talented incoming recruiting class should help.
We’ll have to wait and see how things shake out, but Wolverine fans certainly have to wish Wagner the best after a productive two seasons in Ann Arbor.