The German became a star for Michigan during the NCAA championships last season.

By Julia Poe
June 21, 2018

The Lakers selected Michigan forward Moritz Wagner with the No. 25 pick in the 2018 NBA draft.

Wagner grew up playing for clubs in his home country of Germany, making the top-flight team of Bundesliga as a 17-year-old. Yet he was not heavily recruited by American colleges until John Beilein saw his highlight reel, then flew out to Germany to meet Wagner in person. The offer from Michigan was the only one that Wagner received.

He went on to become the hero of the team's 2018 NCAA tournament run, which was only cut short in the title game against Villanova. Wagner averaged 14.6 points and 7.1 rebounds per game while leading his team to its second-straight Big Ten Tournament championship, earning Most Valuable Player for the tourney. He was named to the Final Four All-Tournament team and was an Academic All-Big Ten honoree.

SI.com's Jeremy Woo broke down Wagner's strengths and weaknesses. 

Strengths

• Wagner shot 39.5% from three over his final two seasons at Michigan, elite for his size and position. His mechanics are comfortable.

• Has a nice handle and all-around skill level, able to attack the rim from the three-point line off of closeouts or when he has a step.

• Showed major improvement as a rebounder last season, committing more to playing physically, upping his defensive rebound rate to 24.9% and averaging 9.3 boards per-36.

Weaknesses

• Wagner is coordinated for a big man but lacks the foot speed and athleticism to defend in space, making him vulnerable at the next level.

• Despite his size, he offers very little rim protection for his position, averaging 0.6 blocks per-36 for his career.

• Despite the shooting and impressive numbers, Wagner is pretty limited offensively, using a predictable skill set and infrequently getting to the foul line. He often feasted on smaller opponents.

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