Franz Wagner could very well be the next big star to emerge from this very young team. He also might very well be the complete package. Now, we knew that he was special at Michigan. He proved that time and time again. However, after getting drafted #8 overall by the Orlando Magic in this year’s draft, Franz has proven to be a staple for the team. In Just 8 games this season, he is already shooting an outstanding 50.5% from the field and just under 50% from three-point range. The other night against the Minnesota Timberwolves, he had his Career-high 28 pts (5-9 from the arc & 10-18 from the field), in a monster second win for the ball club. This Kid looks like he is really going to be something special.
When Wagner was drafted, he measured in at 6″9; but since then he has actually hit a growth spurt. He is only 19 years old. He measured in at the beginning of the season at 6″10 and a half, so that alone gives him the length to match up well against anyone. He can run the floor, and clearly, this kid can shoot the three — or anywhere from the floor for that matter. Not only that, but the guy uses his size and length to his advantage while playing great defense.
He’s everything you want in a young player.
Magic fans should know he isn’t just another piece to this already outstanding new and young team, but he might just be the star, or better yet, “SUPERSTAR” that the magic fans have been craving to see for years.
I wouldn’t crown him the next Dirk Nowitzki yet, but he very well may be someone that could turn out to be just as special. It’s hard to find much of a weakness in his gameplay. Now it’s still early, but I believe this is only the beginning of what’s to come for Magic fans. His teammates say he can do it all. They really love him. They are all blown away by what he has been capable of doing. Orlando Magic head coach Jamahl Mosley has been very impressed with his basketball IQ and his knowledge of the game — “the things he sees, it makes him special.” Mosley said after Monday’s game.
The Magic defintely found a gem in this draft with the German-born rookie out of Michgian
Wagner has started every game; so far for the Magic this season, averaging 13.9 points a game, showing real potential. Now, initially, Wagner was advertised as something like a glue guy who would do the dirty work beyond the box score, but after that last win, Wagner seemed able and ready to do a lot more. After Wagner confidently knocked down his fifth 3-pointer in the fourth quarter, the rookie had the ball in his hands at the top of the key with less than four minutes remaining in the game, then got a pick from center Wendell Carter and accelerated past his defender. He elevated from the box and slam down a ferocious dunk over two Timberwolves, leaving the crown, teammates, and even himself; shocked. It was the dunk heard ’round the world in many ways. Some are even coining it the Dunk of The Year.
Wagner is arguably the Magic’s most efficient player this season, and we all hope this is just a glimpse of what’s to come.
Written by Avi Greenwald