I still remember Moritz Wagner in college, a complete sniper from the outside and he does it at the center position. We all know how vital it is for bigs these days to be able to shoot the 3 ball, look at Brook Lopez and the effect his 3 point shooting has had in Mike Budenholzer’s system. More than likely Thomas Bryant will be the starting center but I do not see why Scott Brooks shouldn’t give Moritz Wagner a consistent 15-25 minutes a night off the bench, the kid
lacks freakish athleticism at the center position but he has a rare skillset where he is able to go iso on defenders and face them up. He can create space with his size and go into a mid range jumper, mind you the kid is 6’11 so good luck trying to block the shot.
I never felt like he got much of an opportunity on the Lakers, Javale McGee and Ivica Zubac were in front of him in the rotation and he was coming off an impressive season at Michigan where I took notice of him heading into the draft recently. I asked myself why is Luke Walton not getting Wagner any minutes? He fits perfectly alongside since he can shoot from the outside and all Luke Walton ever gave him was 10 minutes per game? On the Washington Wizards he will have the opportunity to earn major minutes because the only centers in front of him are Ian Mahinmi and Thomas Bryant. No disrespect to Ian Mahinmi but he has been in the league long enough and I have not seen any major improvement so hopefully Brooks notices this and gives Wagner all the minutes possible, Mahinmi has played 11 seasons already and has failed to average double digits in scoring, enough said.
Moritz Wagner is already a better shooter than both Thomas Bryant and Ian Mahinmi and I would say a better face up scorer, Wagner has guard skills at the center position and a refined skillset and I would love to see him flourish in Washington. The Wizards need all the help they can get offensively because I would not want to go through this season and have Bradley Beal miss yet another season of playoff basketball when he is due for an extension soon and just entering his prime really. I would say just play both Moritz Wagner and Thomas Bryant at the 4 and 5 but that regulates Rui Hachimura to the bench where he is projected to start, Rui Hachimura was drafted to become one of their core pieces going forward and he played enough college basketball at Gonzaga to handle heavy minutes early on.
To conclude whether it is in Washington or elsewhere Moritz Wagner will make a name for himself. Very rarely do we come across 6’11 centers who can get in the post and face up defenders and create their own shot. Tbe sky is the limit for this kid if Scott Brooks gets him time on the floor, he has tallied 37 points over his first 2 preseason games and yes I get it it is only pre-season but I still enjoy it. Sure there are a lot of players in the NBA who are locks for starting spots and guaranteed minutes but Moritz Wagner is a player who is relishing all the minutes possible to prove that he belongs in the NBA.