Moritz Wagner Rumors
Jon Horst’s first draft selection as the Milwaukee Bucks’ new general manager last June was Michigan forward D.J. Wilson. Could Horst choose another Wolverine with the Bucks’ first-round pick – again the 17th overall selection — in the June 21 NBA draft? Some NBA officials believe that could happen with the Bucks using their top pick to select Victor Moritz Wagner, a power forward/center from Michigan. The Bucks are in the market for a big, physical frontcourt player who can stretch the floor with his shooting and Wagner certainly fits the bill.
The 6-foot, 11-inch Wagner shot an impressive 39 percent from 3-point range last season in leading Michigan to the NCAA title game against Villanova. “He’s probably the best shooting big man in the draft,’’ a longtime NBA official said of Wagner, who was born in Berlin, Germany. “He’s the kind of player teams are looking for now, especially with the way the game is going.’’
Here’s a look at the six players who will be trying to impress the Lakers’ brass on Sunday: Alize Johnson – 6-7, 217 – Missouri State. Terry Larrier – 6-8, 185 – Connecticut. Jared Terrell – 6-3, 215 – Rhode Island. Moritz Wagner – 6-11, 241 – Michigan. Thomas Wilder – 6-3, 190 – Western Michigan. Kenrich Williams – 6-6, 200 – TCU.
HoopsHype: What do you feel you’ll bring to an NBA team? Moritz Wagner: I’m just being myself [as I meet with teams] and that’s part of what I’ll bring to the next level. I’m a really honest, direct guy. I’ll never BS you or tell you something that I don’t actually believe. I’m also going to buy in and work extremely hard to get better. I’m going to give 100 percent energy every day. I think that’s very valuable. Whether we’re playing in front of a packed arena in a big game or if we’re on the second night of a back-to-back and playing in front of an empty gym, I’m going to provide energy and my effort level will be at 100 percent. It doesn’t matter what the circumstances are. I think that’s one of the biggest things that I’ll be able to bring to a team. As far as what I can bring on the court aside from my energy, I know I can stretch the floor because of my shooting ability. I can also dribble really well. I’m a playmaker, and I’m not afraid of the big moment. I think those are the biggest things I can provide to a team.
HoopsHype: As a German big man who stands a little over 6-foot-11 and who shot nearly 40 percent from three-point range over the last two seasons, I’m sure you’ve heard Dirk Nowitzki comparisons. Was he somebody that you grew up watching and modeling your game after, or are those similarities just a coincidence? Moritz Wagner: It’s definitely not a coincidence! I’m always flattered and shocked by any kind of direct comparisons to Dirk because that’s my MJ, you know? I had his poster on my wall and it motivated me every day. He made me believe that this was all possible. He was just another boy from Germany as well. Shooting is something that I always enjoyed and I remember thinking, “If he can do it, why can’t I?” That was my mindset. He’s definitely an idol of mine and one of my favorite players of all-time.