NBA Draft expert gives high grade for Orlando Magic after selecting Franz Wagner
The Orlando Magic were one of the big winners of the 2021 NBA Draft in-part because they picked Michigan wing Franz Wagner at No. 8 overall.
The Magic also picked up Gonzaga guard Jalen Suggs after he surprisingly fell to them at No. 5. While Suggs is the star of this class, Wagner projects to be a high-level role player.
According to The Ringer’s Kevin O’Connor, the Magic did great work with picking Wagner at No. 8. He gave the Magic an A- for the pick, which is one of the highest grades he handed out beyond the top-3 selections.
“What a draft for Orlando. After landing Suggs at 5, the Magic go for a big man at 8 and land a special one. Wagner is an oversized playmaker who measured 6-foot-9 at Michigan but claims to have grown to nearly 6-foot-11 since college. That growth spurt only raises his potential. The Magic can utilize him in a variety of roles next to Suggs. Both are unselfish, high-IQ players who should fit together perfectly at the next level. Wagner can be utilized in a number of roles on offense, and is a good 3-point shooter, something the Magic have sorely lacked in recent years. But Wagner’s best trait might be his defense: He can defend wings and some guards, is excellent both on and off the ball, and will boost Orlando on both ends.”
At Michigan, Wagner averaged 12.5 points and 8.5 rebounds per game. He was also a good shooter (34.3 percent from 3) and an excellent defender as he helped lead Michigan to the Big Ten regular season title.
Wagner was the only player from the Big Ten to go in the first round, but six more players were selected in Round 2.
Looking ahead to next year, Michigan forward Caleb Houstan could be the Wolverines’ next lottery pick.
Michigan fans will be able to follow Wagner’s NBA journey as he starts Summer League with Orlando in August.