Entering his second season in the NBA, Orlando Magic forward Franz Wagner is already considered one of the best small forwards in the association.
“A much better debut season than most people expected,” said the Through The Wire Podcast. “I think [Wagner] may be the only rookie to make the top ten lists last season.”
The 21-year-old recently completed a bronze medal at this year’s EuroBasket, which ended a seventeen-year drought for his native Germany. Over his nine games, Wagner recorded 16 points, four rebounds and shot more than 40% from outside the arc.
“It is a very good feeling obviously for us to win a medal in our country. I’m from Berlin, so it’s very special to me,” Wagner said. “The coolest thing for me is seeing all these guys that have been working for this for so many years and we get to reward them, so it’s really cool.”
The sophomore forward averaged 15.2 points, 4.5 rebounds and 2.9 assists for the Magic last season, while shooting 46.7% from field, including 35.4% from depth, while also showing flashes of star potential on multiple occasions, scoring 25 points or more in nine competitions, including a season-high 38 points against the Milwaukee Bucks.
“Wagner was there with someone like [RJ Barrett] like a rookie,” said Through the Wire. “It’s not like Orlando is a fantastic situation, but I think for what he brings to the table, they’ve allowed him to do it.”
Wagner will look to augment the First Team All Rookie campaign, with the addition of number 1 Paolo Banchero and retaining most of last season’s roster.
The Magic’s season kicks off October 19 on the road against the Detroit Pistons.
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