A year ago, DJ Wilson and Moritz Wagner were just a couple of bench players on a Michigan team that barely squeezed into the NCAA Tournament field of 68, barely known to anyone paying little attention to the Wolverines.
Now, fresh off leading Michigan to a Big Ten Tournament championship and Sweet 16 appearance, the pair of forwards have blossomed and now have admirers at basketball’s highest level.
Monday afternoon, Wilson and Wagner both announced their intentions to enter the NBA Draft, but will each do so without hiring an agent.
Wilson was the first to declare Monday, and is one of the more captivating draft prospects due to his 7-foot-3 wingspan and 37 percent average from behind the arc. Wilson was Michigan’s leading rebounder, while also proving to be a reliable scorer both inside and out. The redshirt sophomore averaged 11 points, 5.3 rebounds and 1.5 blocks per game in his third season in Ann Arbor.
Wagner also has shown he has rare outside shooting ability for a big man, averaging 40 percent from behind the arc this season. The sophomore has also displayed some European flair on offense that makes him attractive to many NBA teams. Wagner’s 12.1 points and 4.2 rebounds per game were a drastic improvement from the numbers he posted his freshman campaign, and at just 19 years old there’s a lot of potential NBA teams may have interest tapping into.
Both Wilson and Wagner are projected late first-round picks for June’s NBA Draft, according to ESPN’s Chad Ford. They both will likely participate in next month’s NBA Draft Combine. However, since Wilson and Wagner both announced they will not be hiring an agent, they have until May 24 to withdraw their names from the draft and return to school.
The Wolverines have already lost senior starters Derrick Walton Jr. and Zak Irvin due to graduation, leaving junior guard Muhammad-Ali Abdur-Rahkman as Michigan’s only returning starter if Wilson and Wagner choose to remain in the draft past May 24.