2020-21 Season

Franz Wagner declares for 2021 NBA Draft

Franz Wagner is heading to the NBA Draft. The Michigan sophomore announced his intentions today in a letter at The Players Tribune.

With Wagner’s departure and the addition of Coastal Carolina guard DeVante’ Jones, Michigan’s 2021-22 scholarships are all spoken for.

Here’s the full University of Michigan press release:

ANN ARBOR, Mich. — University of Michigan men’s basketball sophomore guard/forward Franz Wagner announced today (Tuesday, May 4) he will forgo his final two years of eligibility and submit the necessary paperwork to declare for early entry into the 2021 National Basketball Association (NBA) Draft. Wagner intends to hire an agent.

Berlin, Germany native Wagner becomes the first U-M underclassman to declare for the NBA Draft since Jordan Poole (1st round, 28th overall pick to Golden State) and Ignas Brazdeikis (2nd round, 47th to New York) left early following the 2018-19 season.

Wagner is the second in his family to leave the Wolverines after his sophomore season. Wagner’s brother, Moritz, helped U-M reach the 2018 Final Four and national title game before leaving early for the NBA Draft. In the 2018 NBA Draft, the elder Wagner was selected in the first round by the Los Angeles Lakers (25th pick) and has had stops with the Lakers, Washington Wizards and Boston Celtics before his current spot on the Orlando Magic.

In his two seasons with the Wolverines, Wagner started 55 consecutive games after missing the first four games of his career due to a wrist injury. He finishes with 661 points (12.0 ppg), 334 rebounds (6.1 rpg), 33 double-figure scoring games (six 20+) and four double-doubles. Despite the 2019-20 postseason getting canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic, Wagner closes with a 42-17 career record.

In 2020-21, Wagner helped the Maize and Blue to a 23-5 record and the program’s 15th Big Ten regular-season title with a 14-3 record. The All-Big Ten second teamer had a career season as he averaged 12.5 points, 6.5 rebounds and 3.0 assists, led U-M with 35 steals, and was second with 29 blocks. U-M earned the No. 1 seed for the Big Ten Tournament for the first in seven years and second all-time and was a No. 1 seed (East Region) in the NCAA Tournament for the first time in 28 years and third all-time.

As a freshman, Wagner became the 10th Wolverine to earn a spot on the Big Ten All-Freshman team and was awarded Big Ten Freshman of the Week honors three times. He averaged 11.6 points and 5.6 rebounds, as he produced 17 double-figure scoring games with two 20+ including a career-high 22 at Purdue (Jan. 22). He led U-M with 34 steals and was second with 41 three-pointers.

Notable Replies

  1. CoryR

  2. quickdarshan

    “ Next I have to thank my teammates. Most of you probably already know this, but my season ended on a very sour note. And man, I won’t lie — it was a tough couple of weeks after that. It hurt a lot. Not just because it hurts to lose, and I’m such a competitor, but also because it felt like I let everybody down. Most of all our seniors. One missed shot by me … and their Michigan careers were over, just like that. I was pretty hard on myself about it. But the guys were so supportive of me — they had my back like true brothers. They’ll be my brothers for life. “

  3. silverblue

    Incredibly well written, thoughtful, an expression of love and appreciation by a very special young man. Franz made the right decision, and now all of us who love Michigan Basketball must wish him the absolute best the world has to offer. There is no question in my mind, he will be a great success in basketball…and beyond.

    And so, from the bottom of my heart, and with tears on my cheeks that one sheds when his heart has been touched, I thank you, Franz. Now, go and be an NBA All Star, just as you have been our All Star. That is your destiny. We are ALL cheering for you! Thank you for these two years. You are certainly a part of the mystique of Michigan and of the outstanding and illustrious legacy that is Michigan Basketball! Go Blue!!!

  4. adamsmit86

    Franz definitely helped ease the transition period between Beilein and Juwan. Not quite sure how the last couple seasons would have gone without him on the roster. Maybe the single most important recruit Juwan will ever have because Franz allowed him to hit the ground running and achieve enormous success right off the bat. The critics and doubters were immediately silenced and now it’s smooth sailing from here for Juwan.

    It’s the end of a Wagner era and we will miss those guys!

  5. buckets12

    Thank you @PAX

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