10 Interesting Basketball Facts About Moritz Wagner

by Josh Cohen
  • A Berlin, Germany native, Wagner played for Alba Berlin before coming to the United States to play collegiately. The year he played for Alba Berlin in Bundesliga, the highest level of professional basketball in Germany, current Charlotte Hornets guard Brad Wanamaker was the Finals MVP while playing for Brose Baskets. Milwaukee Bucks forward P.J. Tucker won that honor in 2012 while also playing for Brose Baskets.

  • After being recruited by then-Michigan coach John Beilein, who more recently was the Cleveland Cavaliers’ head coach for half of the 2019-20 season, Wagner chose to become a Wolverine, joining fellow future NBA players Caris LeVert, Duncan Robinson and D.J. Wilson on a star-studded 2015-16 roster.

  • It was midway through his sophomore season when he started to catch the attention of NBA scouts. On Dec. 3, 2016 against Kennesaw State, he scored 20 points on 7-of-8 overall shooting and 3-of-4 3-point shooting.

  • Against Louisville, which was led by Donovan Mitchell, in the NCAA Tournament’s Round of 32, the 6-foot-10 versatile big man posted a then-career-best 26 points on 10-of-13 shooting to lead Michigan to a surprise victory. In the Sweet 16, they lost to Oregon, with four future NBA players in their starting lineup, including Payton Pritchard and Dillon Brooks.

  • Following an excellent regular season his junior year, Wagner exploded in both the Big 10 conference tournament, in which Michigan beat Purdue in the final, and then the NCAA Tournament. In the Sweet 16 against Texas A&M, he poured in 21 points and in the Final Four against the Cinderella team of the tournament, Loyola, he had 24 points and 15 rebounds. Michigan, despite getting 16 points from Wagner, lost to Villanova in the national final. Donte DiVincenzo scored 31 off the bench for the Wildcats.

  • Drafted by the Los Angeles Lakers with the 25th pick in 2018, Wagner made his NBA debut against the Orlando Magic at Amway Center on Nov. 17 of that year. He was on the floor for just two minutes, however.

  • His best performance his rookie year came on March 9 against the Boston Celtics when he posted 22 points on 7-of-13 shooting.

  • Wagner was actually part of the trade that sent Anthony Davis to the Lakers. Wagner was dealt to the Washington Wizards in that transaction that featured seven total players. The best game of his career so far came on Nov. 15, 2019 against the Minnesota Timberwolves while playing for the Wizards when he tallied 30 points and 15 rebounds, both career highs.

  • Wagner was included in a trade at the deadline a month ago. He was sent to the Celtics as part of a deal that also involved fellow German player Daniel Theis, who went to the Chicago Bulls.

  • His younger brother, Franz Wagner, who has played at Michigan the last two seasons, could be a first round NBA Draft pick in 2021 if he chooses to declare.

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