The Los Angeles Lakers snagged Moritz Wagner with the 25th pick in the 2018 NBA Draft. The hope is that his ability to stretch the floor as well as create off the dribble will give him the versatility that modern NBA teams crave.
Wagner developed a reputation for playing with fire and passion during his college days at Michigan and should become a near-instant fan favorite in Los Angeles.
That said, his game still needs plenty of work if he’s going to reach his full potential. While he’s getting his feet wet in Summer League, Wagner shared in a post-game interview that he is focusing on becoming a better defender:
“Honestly that’s what I’m trying to establish here in this time, to just feel more comfortable defensively, be solid there, and all the rest I’m not really worried about. Rebound the basketball and be solid in my job. Do my job defensively, that’s what I’m trying to improve on most.”
In his final game of the California Classic in Sacramento, Wagner posted an impressive line of 13 points, 13 rebounds, and four blocks while also hitting 2-4 from three. He was clearly making a concerted effort to be more of a presence at the rim and on the glass, and it paid off.
He still has a long way to goand Wagner will need to hit the weight room to get stronger, but the fact that he recognizes his weaknesses and is working to correct them is a good sign.
The Lakers have a habit of finding productive players late in the first round and it appears that Wagner could be on his way to continuing the trend.
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