WEIGHT: 205 lbs
TEAM: University of Michigan
Franz Wagner is the brother of Mo Wagner, who plays in the NBA. Born on August 27, 2001, in Berlin, Wagner started playing basketball in ALBA Berlin.
His mother, Beate Wagner, and his father, Axel Schulz, supported Franz's basketball career just as they supported Mo's career.
In 2018, Franz came to the United States to watch his older brother playing in Michigan Wolverines several times with his family. He attracted John Beilen, the coach of the team at the time. After Beilein left, the team's coach, Julan Howard and Wolverines, made an offer to Franz. Franz went to MW in 2019.
Max Stoelzel, Franz's teammate in ALBA Berlin from U18 in 2017-2018, says of FW, "He was the one who liked the most training. During the ANGT in Munich, he would practice four hours. Espically, about the shooting. Shh. He crazy about that."
In an interview with Aito Garcia Reneses at the end of 2019, he said Franz's harmony with the team, "He was very young when I was working with Franz, but if he was physically ready he was capable of taking much more time in the EuroCup." he said.
I am not sure about he is ready for high-levels mental war. Franz is a talented and promising prospect. However, he has a problem focusing during the match. You can see the clearest example of this problem in the turnovers he made, defects in rotatiın and in the shot selection mechanism. Franz's engine is high, I mean, energetic. But he cannot always use his energy efficiently. That's why I think he is not a mental warrior.
This part is one of my favorite things about Franz. Franz Wagner can play in PG, SG, and SF positions. So, he is a point forward but a little bit more guard-weighted. 6-9 and 205 lbs Wagner was listed as 6-7 and 200 lbs at the 2019 U18 European Championship. During the one year period, the German prospect lost his fat rate, he was taller and his wingspan widened. Wagner doesn't have the longest and strongest arms in the world, but I think he has good size & frame for his position. His upper body is strong, shoulders are wide and his chest muscles are stiff. I think core power is bad. His lower body is thin. Hip mobility is average, footwork is fast but not enough. I think if he will play as a guard, he is ready for the NBA in terms of physically but in general, I think he needs physical strength. Especially his lower body, shoulders, and core muscles. However, I think it is the best thing in his physical means that he can combine height with his guard skills. I will explain this part in offense.
I am not a big fan of his athletics tools. In my opinion, FW is an athlete with average hip mobility, lateral quickness, and vertical pop. German G-F's lack of lower body strengths hurt his vertical pop. He doesn't have explosive athletics. He usually plays through fluidity. On the way to the basket, Franz uses a fluid athletics. However, that level is not very good. He cannot finish in traffic, he is not a good defender against quick guards, and he cannot his frame advantage on some defensive positions. I think his athletic tools are limited these things.
I think best part thing about Franz Wagner's offense is shooting. In my opinion, FW's shooting mechanism consistent and smooth. Franz Wagner is not a shooter who can hit with "fire type" CnS or movement positions. However, he is a reliable shooter with good shooting decision-mechanism and versatility. His shot percentage is not very high, but I think he promises his future about that. FW can shoot off the bounce, CnS, and movement. His lower body is not good but for shooting, he has a great lower body, especially, on CnS jumpers and spot up. He can speed up the release when necessary without adjusting form in the upper body. His range is deep. German G-F is really quick on the open court with good balance, and acceleration. FW showed some flashes on PnR scoring as a handler. Can dribble with quality steps and body balance. After the dribble he can finish position with a jumper or short floater. He is a good finisher around the basket. On the 67 possessions, he scored 84 points. I think his layups from the top is the best thing about FW's finishing skills. After a strong step, Wagner can change direction with good timing, using his body, and reading the defensive line. He is not someone who will rise quickly in crowded areas off of two feet. I think he does a pretty nice job keeping the ball shielding the ball from his man on drives. Also, he can use the rim smartly. Here is my most critical point about Franz Wagner's NBA future. 6-9 Wagner may take advantage of offense against some guards in the NBA (lack of strength but arms, wide shoulders, and chest muscle is valuable and just 19 years old). This superiority and his spot up, CnS jumpers could make Wagner a long-term NBA player. Because Wagner's ball-handling skill is also good. There is a turnover problem, but I think this problem may decrease to an average level in the future when it gains experience. He can do well as react and reactive passer in sets such as PnR / P, stagger, chin diamond. I mean, 6-9 Wagner is able to dribble with the ball, can pass, can be glue guy on the offensive sets, do good work as a shooter in off-ball games. He is a versatile and physically prospect. So I think he will be selected in the NBA Draft. However, he needs three things. First, shooting consistency. Second, physical improvement. Third, vertical pop and lateral quickness. I think the improvement he will make in these three things will determine Wagner's level in the NBA. Also, he has to be good free throw shooter.
The defense is something that Franz Wagner is bad. The things that are average here are that of his team defense awareness, some flashes on ISOs, and ball-handler defenses. He talks on defence, often directing teammates. Good help defender rotating on the baseline or perimeter for keeping the basket/rim with quick hands, and reaction. He does a pretty nice job tagging the roller in help and then getting back to his man. Had some flashes of pesky defender on ISOs with body contact, and eye-hand coordination. Also, Franz is able to make pressure to limit the ball handler's court vision during PnR. He gives his opponent a bad angle. However, end of the day, I think FW is a bad defender. He can protect the rim but just with the classic blocks (0.6 BPG). Wagner cannot defend quick players. He has potential switching in PnR in a pinch but I think he is not someone can defend roller with high energy or IQ. He showed potential on off-screen defense a little bit but he is not someone to follow his opponent around the screen usually. He can defend the CnS shooters thanks to his length but not consistent. I think his ISO defense is not good. FW has quick hands, also, I think his game IQ is good but he cannot read opponents offense on ISOs. I think his lack of power, end elite lateral movement hurts him about that. Good rebounder in terms of classically. I mean, Wagner is not someone who fights for the rebounds. He reads the game well and moves to the rebound zone. He uses his length advantage and gets the rebound. I guess Wagner will have big problems in the NBA on defense. These problems that he will experience may negatively affect his mental resistance. However, when looking at a draft player in the modern period, the things can do on offense are generally considered important. I think this subject differs from person to person, I think defense is important. However, in the NBA's offensive weighted system, Wagner can find the ideal time to fix defects on defense.
I think Wagner's ability to use his physically owned tools like a guard and his shooting skills make him a good prospect. But in order to improve his level, he needs shot consistency, strength, vertical pop, lateral movement, average defense, and mental resistance.