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Michigan's Franz Wagner Declares for 2021 NBA Draft; Projected Lottery Pick

Mike Chiari@mikechiariFeatured ColumnistMay 4, 2021

Michigan guard Franz Wagner drives up court during the first half of an Elite 8 game against UCLA in the NCAA men's college basketball tournament at Lucas Oil Stadium, Tuesday, March 30, 2021, in Indianapolis. (AP Photo/Darron Cummings)
Darron Cummings/Associated Press

Michigan forward Franz Wagner announced Tuesday that he is entering the 2021 NBA draft after two seasons with the Wolverines. 

According to ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski, Wagner said he plans to hire an agent, meaning he will be locked into July's draft and unable to return to school.

Bleacher Report NBA draft expert Jonathan Wasserman has Wagner ranked as the No. 8 prospect in the 2021 draft, putting him in position to be a lottery pick.

Wagner, who is the younger brother of Orlando Magic forward and 2018 NBA first-round pick Moritz Wagner, was highly productive during his time at Michigan playing under head coach Juwan Howard.

As a freshman, Wagner averaged 11.6 points, 5.6 rebounds, 1.3 steals and 1.0 assist per game, while shooting 45.2 percent from the field and 31.1 percent from beyond the arc.

He got even better during his sophomore campaign, averaging 12.5 points, 6.5 rebounds, 3.0 assists, 1.3 steals and 1.0 block, and shooting 47.7 percent from the floor and 34.3 percent from deep.

Wagner was a key component on a Michigan team that reached the Elite Eight in 2021, ranking third on the team in scoring and assists, and second in rebounding.

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The 6'9" native of Germany is as versatile as nearly any player in the 2021 draft class, and his skill set is one that figures to translate to the NBA well.

In addition to being an efficient shooter, Wagner is a willing playmaker on the offensive end, and he has the potential to be an elite defender.

Wagner doesn't quite measure up to the elite players in the class, such as Oklahoma State guard Cade Cunningham, G League guard Jalen Green and USC center Evan Mobley, but he figures to be a nice consolation prize for a team picking later in the lottery.