Moritz Wagner to withdraw from NBA Draft, return to Michigan

Dylan Burkhardt

Michigan big man Moritz Wagner is withdrawing from the NBA Draft and returning to Michigan for his junior season.

The German stretch five announced his intentions to withdraw from the NBA Draft today ahead of tonight’s midnight deadline. Here are the quotes from the Michigan press release:

“I gained a great deal of confidence from this process and I have a clearer picture of what I need to do in order to fulfill my dreams of playing professionally in the NBA,” said Wagner. “Michigan is where I need to be right now and I am really excited about coming back. I learned a lot about myself and my game at the combine. I feel like I still have a lot to prove on this level and cannot wait to compete with my brothers for another ring.”

“Moe had an extraordinary experience with this process, one that opened his eyes to what he needs to do next for his development,” said U-M head coach John Beilein. “Moe loves Michigan and he is excited about becoming a leader on next year’s team. His incredible personality and enthusiastic demeanor is a great plus for this team and his brilliant future. We are so pleased to be part of that and his journey moving forward.”

Wagner had a breakout sophomore season, averaging 12 points and 4 rebounds per game while emerging on the national spotlight with a 26 point performance in the NCAA Tournament second round against Louisville. He should be expected to take the next step on both ends of the floor, especially defensively where improvement could quickly elevate his stock.

Wagner was projected as the No. 30 pick by ESPN, but wasn’t in many other notable mock drafts.

Testing the waters appeared to be a success for the German forward as he worked out for Utah, Orlando and Milwaukee to solicit feedback and earned an invite to the NBA Draft combine. He had a mixed performance at the combine with one high scoring game and one game where he struggled from the floor.

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  • bobohle

    Thank you very much! One down with one to go.

  • Silverblue

    So pleased to have Moe back! Now, as if he hasn’t already, we need him to recruit the heck out of DJ to come back and join him for a B1G Championship and a deep run in the NCAA Tournament! Both of them could be mid first round picks next year! Go Blue!!!

  • Xness

    Cool, looks like I won’t have to take the bus to the liquor store …

  • Coltrane

    Expected but still great news. Talent-wise of course it’s great to have him back, but he’s also so much fun to watch play.

  • ChathaM

    I think this is a very mature decision. Wagner has definite physical issues that he needs to address, and AA will be a great environment in which to address them. He’ll also become more reliable defensively with another year of major minutes in college, which is something he definitely wouldn’t have received at the next level. I’m sure it helped a lot that he genuinely likes school and has a support system that values education. I’m really looking forward to watching him develop over the next year.

  • rlcBlue

    I’d be curious to hear what feedback he got with respect to defense – which is to say, what position the NBA sees him at. Did they tell him to work on his post defense and rebounding, or his perimeter defense, or both?

    The somewhat related question is whether Beilein will try to give Wagner any time at the 4. I’m assuming there’s no way Teske plays anywhere but the 5 and I’m doubtful Davis will see much time at the 4 either.

  • Jeff Johnson

    Way to go Moe! Put Blue on your shoulders and take them far! Go Blue!