10 Must Hear Facts You Didn’t Know About Franz Wagner
Hey everybody and welcome to another video. Today we will be going over 10 facts about Franz Wagner that you haven’t heard before! Be sure to stick around until the end of the video to find out more about his older brother, you may have heard of him before.
Number ten. Franz Wagner is essentially an oversized guard. He currently stands at six foot nine, 220 pounds and announced that he is actually a guard at heart despite playing in the post. When you look at some of his highlights, the film backs that statement up. His handles are sharp, he can operate the pick and roll and has ended up becoming an above average playmaker. Wagner may not have the type of blow by speed that players like De’Aaron Fox or Ja Morant, but his length makes up for that lack of speed. Though, it is no surprise that his size as a guard is going to come in handy on the defensive end. Not only can he defend opposing guards when he needs too but he has also shown an ability to defend the rim. He averaged 1.5 steals and 1.2 blocks his final year in college after all. Scouts have also made the declaration that Wagner could become the best-off ball defender in the class, which is a big statement considering other players like Scottie Barnes are in the same draft.
Number nine. Franz was born in Germany. It has been a long journey for Wagner to get into the NBA, but he is finally here. He was born on August 27th, 2001, in Berlin, Germany. Before he ended up making his way into the United States, Franz was playing professional in Europe for a team called Alba Berlin. They are actually one of the largest clubs that Germany has to offer and in 2019 Franz was recognized as the leagues top player under the age of 22. This was when he had a very tough decision to make about his basketball future. He could have either chose to sign a big contract with Alba Berlin and play professionally or he could entertain his college offers. Which brings us right into our next fact.
Number eight. Franz committed to Michigan. Wagner was seriously struggling to decide what career path he wanted to pursue, as each one looked appealing to him at the time. After some time, he had set up an official visit with Michigan but that ended up being thrown out of the window not long after. The former head coach of Michigan’s basketball team, John Beilein, chose to leave the school and accept the head coaching position of the Cleveland Cavaliers. Ultimately, that position didn’t really work out for him, and I don’t really know how he is doing at the time, but it made Wagner’s choice ten times harder. The new head coach, Juwan Howard, did everything that he could in order to recruit the young man into the school and was eventually successful. Franz had this to say after coming to the decision, “And after months of going back and forth in my head about it (and against the advice and expectations of almost everybody at home), that’s what I did. Not because Moe did it – but because I wanted to do it my way. I took a leap of faith.” If you are wondering where you can find this information, it was written in the Players Tribune.
Number seven. Franz Wagner played in every single game of his college career with Michigan. That’s right, he played and started in all 55 games. During his freshmen season, he averaged 11.6 points and 5.6 rebounds per game and was eventually named to the Big Ten All-Freshmen Team. He wasn’t done just yet as those numbers jumped during his sophomore season with 12.5 points and 6.5 rebounds per contest. At the end of that second season, the Wolverines held a 23-5 overall record and picked up the number one seed in the NCAA Tournament. However, the squad ultimately lost in the Elite Eight to UCLA, the team that got the buzzer beater hit on them by Jalen Suggs in the Final Four. Franz wasn’t very helpful in that Elite Eight game though, with just four points and only making one shot out of ten attempts. It was his second lowest number of points for that entire season, but it really didn’t drop his draft stock much at all. Teams were already in love with what he could do, and one game didn’t change their minds.
Number six. Wagner has a gold medal already. It seems like this is becoming the case for the majority of high-ranking college players and Franz keeps that streak going. He opted to play for Germany at the Albert Schweitzer Tournament, which is simply an under 18 competition that took place in Mannheim. The team was able to pull away and win the gold medal that year, though Franz had a minimal impact by averaging just six points per game. Wagner took part in the 2017 FIBA U16 European Championship also in Podgorica, Montenegro. He once again played for Germany and averaged 7.4 points per game. However, the team never really got off the ground, finishing in 13th place. A couple of years later he was in the 2019 FIBA U18 European Championship in Volos, Greece and improved his scoring to 13 points per game. He was the clear leader of that team despite missing one game due to a lower back injury, but he could only take them so far. Wagner and Germany couldn’t get any closer than 11th place that year either.
Number five. Somehow, Wagner could only muster four stars coming into college. Despite playing at a professional level in Germany for quite some time and bringing home awards, 247Sports and Rivals only ranked him as a four-star recruit at the end of the year. Because of that four-star recruit, there were only three teams that officially attempted sent offers out towards him. Besides Michigan, Butler and Stanford each tried to get him to commit to their school and help their basketball squad out. It is pretty insane to think about how Franz was such a talented player and leader over in Germany, yet he wasn’t heavily sought after coming into the United States. I mean, he has all the attributes of a small forward yet plays like a true point guard, something that multiple NBA teams are looking for nowadays because of their defensive versatility. Hopefully Franz can continue to prove the doubters wrong in the NBA. I also hope that his brother can do the same in the next couple of seasons. Speaking of him, stick around until the end of the video to find out more about him and his career path compared to Franz.
Number four. It appears he has some confidence issues when dribbling the basketball. We have talked about his above average handles for his size earlier in the video, but scouts have noticed that he often times lack confidence when moving around with the ball. This isn’t to say he can’t dribble or doesn’t want too; he just has to continue to work on his ball handling to get more comfortable with it. If he opts not to improve his handling abilities then he will likely still get minutes, just won’t be the type of point forward that the Orlando Magic are expecting to get from him the next couple of seasons. Although, if he puts in the work at the gym and becomes confident enough to put the ball on the floor often, we could see him become a fantastic play initiator and second option on a championship caliber team. The sky is the limit for Franz, it is just a matter of how badly he wants to work on his abilities to improve.
Number three. Franz has a great looking jump shot. A clean and smooth jump shot is one of the most important things for a player if they hope to shoot the basketball often. Luckily, Franz has exactly that. We all know that there have been some ugly looking forms in NBA history, Lonzo Ball when he was a rookie in the NBA was one of the most recent memories of this. Franz isn’t like Lonzo though, he is a fantastic catch and shoot player. He is one of those guys that truly doesn’t need the basketball in his hands at all times in order to be able to make a play offensively. Wagner is a talented enough shooter so that defenses can’t completely ignore him out on the perimeter, which stretches the floor for his teammates and opens up the paint. With a little time in the gym alongside NBA level trainers, Wagner will no doubt become one of the more talented catch and shoot players in the league.
Number two. He isn’t the best roll defender. While many scouts actually list pick and roll defense as one of his strengths because he can stay in front of shifty guards and use his length to bother taller rollers. However, defending the roller may become a bit of a problem for Franz. We saw it a couple of times in college when he was simply overpowered in the paint when he got caught in a roll. When a player gets caught like this it could lead to dumb fouls and “And-1” opportunities. He can still bang it out with a number of NBA centers in this league, but you just can’t imagine him lining up well against a rolling Anthony Davis or Clint Capela this year. Though there is a pretty easy fix for improving this weakness in his game. All he has to do is get himself into that weight room and put on some more muscle. Which is bound to happen anyways as the NBA normally whips college players into shape during their rookie season as it is. I wouldn’t worry about this too much Magic fans, just something to keep an eye on in the future.
Number one. Franz Wagner has a brother in the NBA as well, Moritz Wagner. The two are one of the first sibling pairs to make it into the NBA after being born in Germany. Moritz has had a rough time in the NBA and hopes to get settled down somewhere. He started off by being drafted to the Los Angeles Lakers with the 25th overall selection in the first round back in 2018. He was then flipped over in a three-team trade involving Anthony Davis that sent him over to the Washington Wizards. Two years later he was included in yet another three-team trade and was flipped to the Boston Celtics. Shortly after his trade was finalized the Celtics opted to release him from their roster and he came to a deal with the Orlando Magic. Luckily, his brother Franz was drafted to the Magic with the eighth overall selection in the draft! These two guys have actually been talking about playing together in the NBA for quite some time now and it seems that is finally a reality. A couple of years ago, Moritz was asked about playing with Franz and he responded by saying “That’s a great question. It’s always been my dream to kind of play with him at some point. Since he’s pretty good, I don’t really want to play against him. I played against him a lot so… probably would rather with him, than against him.” Fast forward to the NBA Draft and Franz was asked the exact same question. To which he replied “I would definitely rather play with him. I think he’s a pain in the ass..sorry about my language. Playing against him is not fun..” I hope this experiment is able to work out well for both sides and that the two can be the foundation of something special forming in Orlando.
And with that, we come to the end of our video regarding the most interesting facts about the newly drafted Franz Wagner. If you enjoyed this video, be sure to leave a like and subscribe , if you want to keep watching then check out the 10 most unexpected Cade Cunningham Facts next!