Michigan basketball star Moritz Wagner was selected by a storied franchise in Thursday night’s NBA Draft.
Moe Wagner Selected 25th Overall by Lakers in NBA Draft
And then, two (literal) Wolverines bigs had departed Ann Arbor.
In 2017, it was forward D.J. Wilson who tested the NBA Draft waters, and found himself selected 17th overall by the Milwaukee Bucks.
Just one year later, star Michigan F/C Moritz Wagner had a similar fate, opting to head to the NBA Draft early, and being made a first round selection, going to the Los Angeles Lakers with the 25th overall pick in the first-round.
Since arriving in Ann Arbor, Michigan head coach John Beilein hasn’t just been spectacular leading his team on the court. Though the Wolverines have had two Final Four appearances, which both led to the advancement to the NCAA Championship Game, he’s also seen the Wolverines advance to the round of sixteen four times and the round of eight three times. He’s had an astounding nine NBA Draft picks selected since he took over the program in 2007, which includes seven first-round selections.
As far as his potential in the NBA, on Monday, ESPN analyst Jay Bilas has glowing things to say about Wagner’s potential at the next level, though he was unsure of where Wagner would ultimately be selected.
“I think Moe is going to be a solid NBA player,” Bilas said. “I think he’s a very late first-round or early second-round pick. He’s got — obviously he’s got good size and can stretch the floor a bit. He’s a skilled big guy that can make a play. He’s disciplined and does a good job of putting a body on somebody and boxing out. He’s not a great rebounder, but he does do a great job of boxing out on every possession; and he’s gotten better and better throughout the course of his young career.
“He plays hard, and I think he’s going to need to continue to improve on the defensive end. He’s not really a shot blocker, and he’s not a high-volume rebounder, but in today’s game he can play out on the perimeter and draw big guys away from the basket and he can make open shots. So I think he’s got a chance to be a good NBA player.”
Wagner joins an emerging NBA roster, featuring stars such as Lonzo Ball. With his ability to act both as a big presence in the middle of the court, as well as stretch defenses to the perimeter, he poses a multiple threat for teams on the defensive side of the ball, while being able to lock down defensively — albeit inconsistently at the college level — on the other side of the court.