The 2021 NBA draft will take place Thursday, July 29 with the Detroit Pistons holding the No. 1 pick. The Houston Rockets, Cleveland Cavaliers, Toronto Raptors and Orlando Magic round out the top five selections.
We take a look at some of the prospects available in this draft, gauge their strengths, weaknesses, NBA comparisons and best landing spot within the player’s projected draft range. Here’s a breakdown for Michigan wing Franz Wagner.
Wagner brings a skillset similar to Florida State’s Scottie Barnes, but with far more ability on offense. His game is much more advanced and he has sneaky athleticism to operate from anywhere on the floor. He possesses good defensive upside but his offensive game is what has Wagner in the upper lottery conversation.
He might not have the speed to chase perimeter players all game and his post defense needs to improve. Wagner’s playmaking ability worked because of Michigan’s supporting cast, but will he have the same effect in a lesser system? Wagner can shoot from the perimeter, but needs to be more efficient to be considered a true three-point threat. Consistency is also an issue. Wagner will have great all-around games but follow them up with poor showings.
Wagner is another player who can be cast in the Draymond Green mold, but for me he’s closer to Nicolas Batum with his offensive upside. He’s likely never going to the top scoring option, but he can provide great minutes as a two-way starter.
Best Landing Spot
The Sacramento Kings and Orlando Magic would love to have a player of Wagner’s caliber in their lineup. He fits the timeline of those teams and can develop into a more consistent presence on both ends of the floor with playing time.