Lakers News: Moritz Wagner Active For First Time During 2018-19 NBA Season Vs. Mavericks
Moritz Wagner, Lakers, Summer League
Rohan Ali – Lakers.com

At the 2018 NBA Draft, the Los Angeles Lakers selected Moritz Wagner with the No. 25 pick, but he was ruled out the entire preseason due to a left knee contusion.

As Wagner has been making progress and was recently assigned to the South Bay Lakers on rehab assignment, the Lakers are in need of a backup center through seven games of the 2018-19 NBA season.

While Wagner is still a rookie and needs to get into game shape, he showed plenty of potential at Summer League. In six games at Sacramento and Las Vegas, the 21-year-old averaged 12.5 points and 8.0 rebounds in 21.7 minutes.

With the Lakers currently 2-5 and facing the Dallas Mavericks, Wagner will be active for the first time, according to Bill Oram of The Athletic:

As JaVale McGee and Johnathan Williams have played most of the minutes at center, head coach Luke Walton is hoping he will be able to play Wagner some minutes:

Although Wagner did not shoot well at Summer League, he is an active stretch-five that should eventually find himself in Walton’s rotation. As the Lakers are tied for 16th in rebounding (45.3) and have given up the fifth-most offensive rebounds (12.6), having another seven-footer should alleviate some problems.

After giving up 20 offensive rebounds in a four-point loss to the Minnesota Timberwolves, Walton has emphasized not leaking out for fastbreak opportunities. While the Lakers want to play fast, they need to close out possessions and defend without fouling.

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