The Los Angeles Lakers made Moritz Wagner their latest first-round selection as he was chosen 25th overall in the 2018 NBA Draft. The big man from Michigan is an intriguing prospect with his size, energy, and ability to stretch the floor.
With Summer League beginning, Wagner will be one of the most-watched players on the roster. And with that, Wagner and the Lakers held their first practice sessions in preparation for taking the court in the California Classic Summer League on Monday.
“I think it’s a lot more physical in the paint,” Wagner noted the difference between college and the NBA. “And you have the spacing, it’s wider, so it’s a lot harder to play defense. It’s a lot to adjust to.”
Defense, particularly when switching out on the perimeter, is one of the questions that many had regarding Wagner coming into the draft. It will undoubtedly be something that will be watched closely this summer.
Nonetheless, Wagner is looking forward to the Summer League slate and is confident in what he brings to the Lakers. “I’m not going to change just because it’s the NBA. I’m the same player, I’m a confident guy,” he said. “Just going to be myself. I’ll be smiling the whole time.
“The Lakers in general are very, very fast paced. Take good but quick shots. I’m excited. It’s fun to play with these guys and I’m just excited to be out there competing.”
Following three games in Sacramento, the Lakers will then participate in the Las Vegas Summer League which tips off Friday, July 6. The Lakers, who are the defending champions, play their first game the following night.
Wagner is looking forward to the challenge of repeating. “Oh yeah. Magic said it at the press conference. It’s a very competitive franchise here and we take Summer League very, very serious,” the rookie said.
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