With the NBA releasing the schedule for the upcoming season, Los Angeles Lakers fans can begin to look forward to what should be a promising year at Staples Center.
When discussing the team’s young players, Moritz Wagner is often the forgotten man. Fans will casually mention Brandon Ingram, Josh Hart, and Lonzo Ball, but Wagner boasts a unique skill set that could make him an impact player as a rookie for Luke Walton.
In the old NBA, Wagner would translate to a Dirk Nowitzki-type power forward. But with teams looking to run and shoot three-pointers, Wagner projects to a stretch center.
His greatest asset is his shooting, which helped propel Michigan to the national championship game last season. With the Lakers devoid of many traditional catch-and-shoot options, Wagner could make an immediate impact off the bench. As LeBron James, Rajon Rondo, Lonzo Ball, and Lance Stephenson look to attack the paint, Wagner’s ability to draw the defender away from the rim–and make a shot–could benefit the team’s offense greatly.
At 7-feet tall, Wagner is also an exceptional rebounder and can run the floor. Miles Simon, Wagner’s Vegas Summer League coach, liked what he saw from the youngster.
“He plays with a lot of fire. A lot of passion,” Lakers summer league coach Miles Simon said. “He’s always talking on the floor. He’s into everything that he does on the offensive and defensive end, and he’s truly so fun to be around.”
He will likely come off the bench for center JaVale McGee, who projects to start for Walton.
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