The Moe Wagner era of Michigan basketball has come to a close. The junior big man from Germany announced he is leaving college to pursue an NBA career and has signed with an agent.
In three years with the Wolverines, Wagner went from a scrawny forward who no one knew much about, to the centerpiece of a Michigan roster that reached the Final Four in 2018. He averaged 14.6 points and 7.1 rebounds per game while shooting better than 50 percent from the field last season.
Currently, Yahoo! Sports has Wagner going 29th overall to Brooklyn in its latest NBA mock draft. Yahoo’s Jordan Schultz says, “Wagner’s excellent NCAA tournament run might eventually elevate him into the top 20, but for now at least, he comes in at No. 29. With respect to Quincy Acy, Brooklyn needs a skilled four man to play off of D’Angelo Russell and Spencer Dinwiddie. Wagner, who turns 21 this month, can shoot (39 percent on threes), attack off the bounce and loves to rebound (10.3 boards per 40 minutes). The German won’t back down either. He plays with a nastiness and grit that head coach Kenny Atkinson will admire and teammates will appreciate.”
In a letter posted to The Players’ Tribune, Wagner explained his decision to leave Ann Arbor and detailed his latest goal: to share the court with his idol, Dirk Nowitski. Wagner may very well get his chance. The future Hall of Famer recently announced he would return for his 21st season next year with Dallas.
Wagner would be the sixth active NBA player from Germany if he makes it onto a roster next fall. As for Michigan, the Wolverines are losing one of the biggest two-way threats to come through Ann Arbor in quite some time. Currently, Michigan’s recruiting class for 2018 is ranked 10th overall by Rivals.com led by Canadian five-star forward Ignas Brazdeikis.
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