Michigan forward Moritz Wagner announced on Monday that he would submit his name into the NBA Draft without hiring an agent, meaning he has the option to return school by May 31.
That same night, Wagner appeared on Andrew Dakich and Duncan Robinson's podcast, aptly titled "The Dak and Dunc Show", to give unfiltered and interesting insight into the process of declaring for the NBA Draft. Wagner was asked what it meant to him to submit his name into the draft and his response was surprisingly candid.
"It doesn't really mean a lot other than just saying I am looking into being drafted and tell teams that your name is out there," Wagner said during the interview. "Other than that, it doesn't mean anything. For two years there's been this new rule where you can pull your name back out."
Typically, a player has to like what he hears back from the NBA Advisory Board if he wants to send out feelers to interested teams. For Wagner, the evolution of his game from figuring out how he was going to see the court this season to potentially being an NBA Draft pick was quite a ride for the young player.
The experience of hearing NBA insiders discussing his draft positioning was also a surreal feeling for him as well.
"It's definitely interesting," Wagner said of the NBA Advisory results. "It's obviously a great experience to sit in that room and you just see somebody talking about your draft stock. One year ago I was talking about being on the court in college basketball and now I'm in this situation which I'm very grateful for. It's a lot of fun to go through the process with the other guys, [the players] and the coaching staff. [The results came back] Sunday. It was me, Coach Donlon and Coach B. It's pretty interesting, you can feel it, it's a business, dude. You have those certain ranges and they're gonna tell you where you're expected to be, to get picked. I don't want to get into this too deep but it's very interesting. All of the sudden you're sitting there talking about the NBA, it's crazy."
What a difference a year makes for Wagner. Head coach John Beilein always talked about Wagner being young and raw for his age and trying to build him up to become an all-around player. You saw just that last season as Wagner emerged as the Wolverines' versatile big man many expected him to be when he signed for U-M.
The major change for him, however, was the boost in confidence.
"I think my confidence level increased a lot," Wagner said. "Just by being here this summer, it gave me a huge confidence boost. I had a different mindset coming into this season. As a freshman, you come in trying to figure out how to survive. All of the sudden you have to spend a lot of money, all of the sudden you're not home anymore and your mom isn't cooking you meals anymore. You're supposed to play your best basketball and it wasn't like that. The second year was a lot different."