2018 NBA Draft Profile: Moritz Wagner
Moritz Wagner is a skilled center with floor spacing potential fresh off leading Michigan on an improbable run to the NCAA Championship game. Emerging as a promising prospect in his mid-teens in his native Germany, Wagner made his EuroLeague debut with Alba Berlin at the age of 17 and appeared in an NBA Preseason game against the Spurs. Opting to pursue the college route in lieu of continuing his career overseas, Wagner was considered a top-150 prospect in the high school class of 2015. Played a minor role as a freshman and broke out in a major way as a sophomore in John Beilein’s offense with his ability to draw opposing big men to the perimeter and score with impressive consistency from the inside and out. Declared for the 2017 NBA Draft before withdrawing. Wagner keyed Michigan to a deep NCAA Tournament run averaging 14.6 points and 7.1 rebounds per game and earned All-Big Ten Second Team honors.
- Measured 6’11.5 in shoes with a below average 7’0 wingspan and a 241-pound frame at the 2018 NBA Draft Combine. Added ten pounds of muscle from the 2017 NBA Combine to the 2018 edition. Has nice height for a center and is fairly mobile, but lacks great length and explosiveness.
- Played a significant role for the Wolverines whose system catered to his strengths. Did much of his damage in pick and pop and spot up situations leveraging his unique jump shooting ability for a center. Also did some opportunistic scoring around the rim finishing cuts, putting the ball on the floor for straight-line drives, and slipping screens.
- Scored at an exceptional rate as a screener in Michigan’s ball-screen heavy offense. 25% of his possessions came as the Roll Man in the Pick & Roll which he converted for 1.102 points per Pick & Roll used by the Roll Man [66th percentile] as he proved to be a threat to score prolifically regardless of whether he rolled, poped, or slipped.
- Terrific jump shooter. 21% of his possessions were Spot Ups and another 2% were Off Screens. Scored 1.171 points per catch and shoot jump shot in the half court overall [76th percentile]. Doesn’t have the quickest release, but can be a real problem for opposing centers who do not like to leave the paint. Hit some rough patches from the perimeter as a junior, but also had some nights where he simply didn’t miss when given any daylight.
- Can put the ball on the floor a bit showing unique coordination for his size. Not a great athlete, but is mobile and has good timing. Scored 1.377 points per shot around the rim in the half court [88th percentile]. Likes to shot fake and attack the rim against big men who don’t close him out under control. Doesn’t hesitate to try and dunk over the defense when he drives it, even if he gets hung on the rim occasionally. Moves well without the ball, but is not much of a factor on the offensive glass. Has nice touch inside, but struggles to finish over length in spots.
- Shows some craftiness operating with his back to the basket. Has a nice faceup game, but lacks a degree of quickness against elite defenders. Likes to dribble to the middle and spin back to the baseline for hooks. Knows where he wants to be anglewise. Scored 0.753 points per Post Up possession [38th percentile].
- Has a unique offensive skill set for his size that fits in the modern NBA if he can expand his shooting range.
- Ranked 10th in the NCAA and 1st in the Big Ten in Roll Man scoring (3.6 ppg)
- Lacks a degree of length and quickness defensively, but plays with a lot of fire. Showed some improvement as an area rebounder as a junior, but still has a ways to go. Allowed 0.966 points per Post Up possession [27th percentile]. Makes an effort to protect the rim, but short arms limit his impact. Has room to improve his awareness defending away the basket. Will need to maximize his frame and be more physical to hold his own at the NBA level.