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Michigan’s Franz Wagner selected No. 8 overall by Orlando Magic in 2021 NBA draft

Wagner helped lead Michigan to Big Ten title, Elite Eight

Franz Wagner #21 of the Michigan Wolverines celebrates in the final moments of the second half of their Sweet Sixteen round game against the Florida State Seminoles in the 2021 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament at Bankers Life Fieldhouse on March 28, 2021 in Indianapolis, Indiana.
Franz Wagner #21 of the Michigan Wolverines celebrates in the final moments of the second half of their Sweet Sixteen round game against the Florida State Seminoles in the 2021 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament at Bankers Life Fieldhouse on March 28, 2021 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (2021 Getty Images)

ANN ARBOR, Mich.Michigan basketball’s Franz Wagner was selected by the Orlando Magic with the No. 8 overall pick in the 2021 NBA draft.

Wagner is the first Michigan player to be drafted in the first round since Jordan Poole, who was taken 28th overall by the Golden State Warriors in 2019.

Wagner’s brother, Moe, was taken 25th overall by the Los Angeles Lakers in 2018. He plays for -- you guessed it -- the Magic, though he’s a restricted free agent this offseason.

Wagner spent two seasons at Michigan, averaging 12 points, 6.1 rebounds, 2 assists, 1.3 steals and 0.8 blocks per game. As a sophomore in 2020-21, he scored 12.5 points per game and shot 47.7% from the floor.

Though he dealt with some offensive inconsistencies at Michigan, Wagner’s length and athleticism made him an elite and disruptive defender. He can stay in front of smaller ball handlers and also contest at the rim.

As a 17-year-old, Wagner decided to come to Michigan instead of playing professional ball in Europe despite an unexpected coaching change. That decision paid off, as Juwan Howard helped him become a consensus top 10 NBA prospect.

The NCAA Tournament was canceled at the end of Wagner’s freshman season, but this year, he helped lead Michigan to a regular season Big Ten championship and the Elite Eight.


About the Author:

Derick is a Senior Web Producer for ClickOnDetroit and has been with Local 4 News since April 2013. Derick specializes in breaking news, crime and local sports.