NBA Roundup: Latest draft projections for Moritz Wagner

The NBA Draft is Thursday evening in New York City (7:00 p.m., ESPN). Former Wolverine Moritz Wagner is expected to hear his name, potentially as soon as the back half of the first round.

The latest prognostications for draft night have Wagner pegged as high as No. 21 overall or somewhere in the first ten picks of the second round. Here’s a look at the latest projections and thoughts on Wagner’s standing.’s mock draft has Wagner pegged to come off the board at No. 21 overall.

The Wolverines’ junior played himself into first-round consideration with an excellent season and NCAA Tournament, leading Michigan to the national championship game. He’s a tailor-made modern day big, who’s been a dynamic three-point shooter the last two years (39 percent as a sophomore and a junior) while also being able to put the ball on the deck and get to the rim. Wagner stuck his nose inside as well for Michigan last season, leading the team in rebounding at 7.1 per game. Wagner would be a very different kind of big than Derrick Favors, but he’d be a solid insurance policy for Utah with Favors one of the few quality bigs available in free agency this summer.

ESPN projects Wagner at No. 28 to the Golden State Warriors. Draft Express has consistently been one of the most accurate draft prognosticators over the last decade.

The Warriors are way over the luxury tax and will want to find contributors on cheap rookie contracts. Wagner brings floor spacing and a high-energy style of play. He was one of the breakout players of March, leading Michigan to a Big Ten title and a surprise run to the NCAA championship game. slots Wagner at No. 30 to the Hawks. Aran Smith writes about the fit at Hoops Hype:

With a team essentially being built from scratch, developing the right culture is vital. Wagner checks a lot of the boxes as far as being a strong influence and leader, aside from his basketball skills. Is he a team’s long-term answer as a starting center? Probably not, but he could potentially be a valuable addition for a young team like the Hawks.

Sports Illustrated’s mock has Wagner coming off the board early in the second round at No. 32.

Wagner is another player with an outside chance at the first round, but whose NBA outlook can be divisive depending on who you talk to. His size and ability to shoot the three give him a chance to stick as a role player, following in the footsteps of many similar defensive-challenged but offensively talented big men.

The Ringer ranks Wagner 33rd on its big board. The Athletic’s top-100 rankings have Wagner at No. 39, citing his lack of defense, but calls Wagner a “second rounder I’d bet on sticking”.

Moritz Wagner (No. 39): I have no idea whom Wagner defends at the next level, which pushes him to the second round for me. But the kid has a translatable offensive skill set and is an absolutely terrific teammate who works incredibly hard on his game. My bet is that he figures out a way to make it work.

Notable Replies

  1. JJ3

    Happy for Wagner. I really look forward to seeing him compete in NBA. Defensively there is a chance he just can’t compete at that level. Offensively he’s going to cause problems with his shot and ability to take people off the bounce. Rebounding he should be adequate as he matures and gets stronger. I like his chances to both go in first round, and have a long career in the NBA.
    The extra year paid off handsomely

  2. mgl

    Surprised not to see Utah mentioned - didn’t they like him last year? There are more than a few similarities between him and Ingles (he’s bigger, almost certainly not as good a passer, but similar styles).

  3. umhoops

    Utah is picking 21 and that is what the first write up has projected.

  4. mgl

    Wellll…that’s embarrassing.

  5. MrLG

    So I guess the over/under level is around 30. I expect Mo to be drafted in the 20s, so under for me.

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