Michigan Basketball: Franz Wagner’s NBA career off to hot start

Dennis Schneidler-USA TODAY Sports
Dennis Schneidler-USA TODAY Sports /

So far former Michigan basketball standout Franz Wagner has been playing outstanding in his rookie season in the NBA. 

It wasn’t a surprise when Franz Wagner, the former Michigan basketball player became a lottery pick in the NBA draft over the summer.

While some fans didn’t like Wagner as much as the experts, he was one of the best two-way players in the NBA draft and the former Michigan basketball star is off to a great start.

The Magic are clearly a work in progress and have a lot of work to do before they can become a contender. But Orlando clearly got a solid piece in Wagner who has reached double figures in each of his first five games, while doing many of the things he did at Michigan.

Wagner has a tremendous scoring ability. He can score around the basket, he can handle the ball and he can shoot.

His shooting ability was a little inconsistent during his time with the Wolverines, but so far in the NBA, he’s been exceptional knocking down 41 percent of his 3-point attempts, including a 3-for-4 effort on Wednesday. He also had a 4-of-5 night against New York earlier this season.

In five games, Wagner is averaging 13.6 points per game as well as 3.6 rebounds, 1.8 assists, one steal, and 0.8 blocks per game. He is also shooting nearly 52 percent from the field.

Shooting can make Wagner elite

Wagner has a lot of good skills and he doesn’t need to score 20 points a game to dominate the floor or at least contribute to winning basketball.

But if Wagner can consistently shoot 40 percent from 3-point range, he could be an NBA All-Star someday. Or at least a top 3-4 player on a championship-caliber team.

Wagner is notorious for his work ethic and he worked hard on his shot, especially after struggling some with it during his Michigan career.

It’s a small sample but it’s good to see Wagner knock down those shots. Hopefully, he can keep it up. But so far, so good and his doubters, they haven’t had much to say.