Franz Wagner is one of the most versatile prospects in the 2021 NBA Draft class. During his two years at the University of Michigan, Wagner honed his skills to become a true chess piece that an NBA team will be able to utilize in various roles.
During the 2020-21 season, Wagner averaged 12.5 points, 6.5 rebounds, 3.0 assists, 1.3 steals, and 1.0 block per game while also showing potential to expand his shooting range. After stuffing the stat sheet for the Wolverines on a nightly basis, Wagner’s stock exploded. Now viewed as a near-consensus lottery selection, Wagner views his versatility as one of his greatest assets.
“Honestly, I think I fit in pretty well,” Wagner told reporters on Monday. “I think every team needs big wings that can move, that can shoot, make decisions with the ball, and play defense. And I think those are all things where I’m good at, that are important for my game. The game is getting more and more position-less, so I think I'll fit in very well with my versatility.”
Another feather in Wagner’s cap is that he’s not done growing yet. Entering his sophomore season at 6-foot-9, Wagner said he’s now closer to 6-foot-11. A multi-positional wing with his size and two-way profile offers tantalizing potential to teams looking for any edge in today’s pace-and-space game.
“I would say I’m almost 6-foot-11,” Wagner said. “Not quite there yet, but definitely grew a little bit this past year.”
The last name Wagner might sound familiar to the average fan, because he’s actually the younger brother of Orlando Magic forward (and fellow Michigan alum) Moritz Wagner. Throughout Franz’s college career and the pre-draft process, he’s continuously picked Moritz’s brain on what to expect on the professional level.
“It’s helped a lot,” Wagner said of having his older brother as a resource. “Obviously, he’s very busy too, but even the last three years, I’ve asked him a lot. Obviously, I’ve seen a lot when I’ve visited him and stuff. I mean, there’s a lot of things you need to know before you get there, but I think the most important thing he told me is that nothing can really prepare you for the NBA lifestyle. The business side around it, too. I’m excited to be able to experience it soon.”