NBA Draft, NCAA Basketball

Franz Wagner leaving Michigan, enters NBA Draft with expectation of being lottery pick

Michigan basketball star forward Franz Wagner is leaving school to enter the NBA Draft where he projects to be a lottery pick.

Franz Wagner has declared for the 2021 NBA Draft and will hire an agent, ending his time with the Michigan basketball program.

Wagner, a sophomore, was one of the best players on the Big Ten champions who earned a No. 1 seed and a berth to the Final Four last season.

Wagner averaged 12.5 points, 6.5 rebounds and 3 assists per game as a sophomore last year for Juwan Howard’s Michigan Wolverines. His numbers increased across the board from his freshman season.

The 6-foot-9, 220-pound native of Germany is the No. 9 ranked player on ESPN’s NBA Draft Big Board.

Michigan’s Franz Wagner should be a lottery pick in the 2021 NBA Draft

Wagner should be a lottery pick when the NBA Draft is held at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York on July 29, 2021.

While most of the top NBA Draft prospects such as Cade Cunningham, Jalen Suggs and Evan Mobley, who could go 1-2-3 in the draft made their decisions shortly after the conclusion of the NCAA Tournament, Wagner took his time to make the decision on his future.

Michigan basketball fans kept their fingers crossed since the end of March Madness with the hope Wagner would return with some unfinished business on his agenda and help lead them back to the Final Four and potential national championship.

However, it was always likely that Wagner would declare for the NBA Draft with his stock so high and him possibly going in the first 10 picks. That’s too good of an opportunity to pass up and return to college. That’s life-changing money that is tough to wait on for another year.

Despite the loss of Wagner, Michigan basketball should still be a loaded team next year with a chance to even be the preseason No. 1 and make another deep run in the NCAA Tournament.

For more NCAA basketball news, analysis, opinion and features, check out more from the FanSided college basketball section to stay on top of the latest action.

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