Moritz Wagner grew up in Berlin dreaming of an NBA career Preston Tucker Atlanta Braves Jersey , and he went all the way to Michigan to chase it.
The German big man will get his chance with the Los Angeles Lakers.
The Lakers chose Wagner with the 25th pick in the NBA draft Thursday night, adding the versatile center as the next piece in their talented young core.
The 6-foot-11 Wagner entered the draft after leading the Wolverines to the NCAA Tournament championship game. He led Michigan with 14.6 points and 7.1 rebounds per game last season, demonstrating versatility and a steady outside shot to go with his big-game clutch performances in the tournament.
Wagner worked out twice for the Lakers and general manager Rob Pelinka, a fellow Michigan man. After getting the call from Pelinka, Wagner already knew it was Showtime.
”They obviously are a very flashy franchise,” Wagner said. ”They love to play fast. Coach (Luke) Walton used to play as well, so he’s a players’ coach, and he wants his players to make plays, be confident. They focus a lot on playing fast, and that’s something I’m really excited to do.”
The Lakers stayed in Europe during the second round and used the 47th overall pick on Svi Mykhailiuk, Kansas’ Ukrainian outside shooting whiz. Although Pelinka wasn’t allowed to confirm it, the Lakers also are widely expected to get German teenager Isaac Bonga, the 39th overall pick by Philadelphia, when the trade can be announced next month.
The Lakers are focused on the free-agent signing period next week as the path back into championship contention after the worst half-decade stretch in franchise history. But before the Lakers find out whether Paul George, LeBron James or Kawhi Leonard will land in Hollywood Rasmus Dahlin Sabres Jersey , they added Wagner to their foundation of young talent including Brandon Ingram, Lonzo Ball, Kyle Kuzma and Josh Hart.
”We’re building a culture here, and (Wagner) brings a lot to the table,” Walton said. ”As far as the passion he plays with, his unselfish nature, the way that he spreads the floor, all these things that we’ve seen on film and that we saw live a couple of times when he worked out for us, we’re excited.”
Wagner grew up in the Prenzlauer Berg neighborhood of Germany’s capital religiously watching NBA games and even American college hoops. He admired fellow German Dirk Nowitzki, but really idolized Kevin Garnett.
Wagner played in the youth system of German pro team ALBA Berlin before Michigan coach John Beilein traveled to Europe on a one-day recruiting trip and persuaded him to head for Ann Arbor.
”I remember getting up at 3 a.m., watching the games,” Wagner said. ”Dirk (Nowitzki) had a huge impact on that, just being a player that made it, a player that did incredible things in the league, and also being a player that was under the radar for a long time Kyle Gibson Minnesota Twins Jersey , and just this skinny kid from Germany, similar to me. That dream is very, very far away when you’re over there, so it’s exciting to be here.”
He was joined at the draft by his parents, several German friends and the Michigan coaching staff.
Wagner is already familiar with Staples Center after leading Michigan to two victories in the arena during the West Regional last March. He dropped 21 points on Texas A&M and fellow first-round pick Robert Williams at the Lakers’ home arena before cutting down the Staples nets after scoring 12 points in a victory over Florida State in the West Regional final.
The Lakers traded away their own first-round pick in this draft, the 12th overall, in their deal with Phoenix six years ago to acquire Steve Nash in their disastrous attempt to build a superteam. Los Angeles acquired the 25th pick from Cleveland last February in the trade involving Isaiah Thomas, Jordan Clarkson and Larry Nance Jr.
Mykhailiuk was an outstanding outside shooter for the Jayhawks’ Final Four team, scoring 14.6 points per game while hitting 115 total 3-pointers. Knocks on his defense and wingspan put him in the second round, but the Lakers were impressed by his skill in their private workout.
”When you build a team, you have to have pillars that you build on,” Pelinka said. ”We felt like with the two players that we selected tonight in the draft that we added shooting and guys that know how to play the game the right way. We’re just thrilled with the way the night ended for us.”
Kyle Turris scored the only goal in the shootout to lift the Nashville Predators over the Minnesota Wild 2-1 Tuesday night to snap a three-game skid.
The win clinched the Predators home-ice advantage for the first round of the playoffs. They also moved three points ahead of Tampa Bay in the chase for the Presidents’ Trophy and home-ice advantage throughout the playoffs.
Roman Josi scored for Nashville, and Pekka Rinne made 22 saves.
Rinne turned away Nino Niederreiter in the shootout. Zach Parise’s attempt went wide left, and Rinne stopped Mikko Koivu to clinch it.
Eric Staal tied it for Minnesota with 3:15 left on his 40th goal this season.
Devan Dubnyk made 28 saves as Minnesota snapped a five-game point streak. The Wild still won the season series against Nashville, 3-2.
JETS 5 http://www.buccaneersauthorizedshops.com/authentic-carlton-davis-jersey , BRUINS 4, SO
WINNIPEG, Manitoba (AP) – Patrik Laine scored the deciding goal in the shootout, Brandon Tanev had his first career hat trick and Winnipeg beat Boston to cap a perfect six-game homestand.
Joe Morrow had his first goal for Winnipeg since being acquired from Montreal last month, and sixth of the season. Adam Lowry had two assists.
Ryan Donato, Danton Heinen, David Pastrnak and Torey Krug had goals for the Bruins, who scored three power-play goals. Krug added one assist and Brad Marchand had two.
Connor Hellebuyck made 28 saves to pick up his 40th win for the Jets. It was also their seventh straight victory at home.
Anton Khudobin also stopped 28 shots as Boston ended a four-game road trip 2-0-2.
CANUCKS 4, DUCKS 1
VANCOUVER, British Columbia (AP) – Brandon Sutter had two goals and an assist to lift Vancouver.
Alex Biega got his first goal in over three years, and Sam Gagner also scored for Vancouver, which has won three of four since losing seven straight. Jacob Markstrom stopped 23 shots.
Andrew Cogliano scored for the Ducks, who wrapped a four-game trip and are on a 5-1-1 stretch.
The loss dropped Anaheim into a tie with the Los Angeles Kings for third in the Pacific Division, though the Kings have a game in hand. The teams play Friday night.
BLUES 3, SHARKS 2 Martin Kaut Blackhawks Jersey , OT
ST. LOUIS (AP) – Vladimir Tarasenko scored his second goal of the game in overtime to lift St. Louis over San Jose.
Tarasenko got a pass from Vladimir Sobotka and tipped in the winner at 2:33. It was Tarasenko’s 31st goal, and he has 30 or more in four consecutive seasons.
St. Louis has won a season-best six straight games. San Jose had won eight straight.
Oskar Sundqvist also scored for St. Louis, and Jake Allen made 22 saves.
Evander Kane and Joe Pavelski scored for San Jose. Aaron Dell stopped 29 shots.
DEVILS 4, HURRICANES 3
NEWARK, N.J. (AP) – Stefan Noesen scored on a rebound with 1:33 to play and New Jersey continued its playoff push.
Kyle Palmieri had two goals and an assist and Taylor Hall had three assists for the Devils, who have won three straight and six of eight. Pavel Zacha also scored and Keith Kinkaid, who has supplanted Cory Schneider as the No. 1 goaltender, made 31 saves.
New Jersey extended its lead to three points ahead of idle Florida for the second wild card in the Eastern Conference, with the Panthers having played two fewer games. Carolina is nine points back.
Phil Di Giuseppe, Warren Foegele and Noah Hanifin also scored as the Hurricanes had a three-game winning streak snapped despite taking a 3-2 lead early in the third period. Scott Darling was outstanding making 41 saves, but Carolina’s slim playoff hopes faded a little more.
BLUE JACKETS 7, OILERS 3
EDMONTON, Alberta (AP) – Thomas Vanek had three goals and an assist to lift Columbus over Edmonton.
Artemi Panarin, Boone Jenner, Cam Atkinson and Markus Nutivaara also scored for the Blue Jackets Saquon Barkley Color Rush Jersey , who have won 11 of 12. Sergei Bobrovsky stopped 22 shots.
Connor McDavid had a goal and two assists, and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and Drake Caggiula also scored for the Oilers, who have lost two straight. Cam Talbot stopped 13 of 18 shots before being replaced by Laurent Brossoit.
Edmonton got on the board 3:37 into the first period when a mix-up behind the net between Bobrovsky and Nutivaara allowed McDavid to steal the puck and send it out front to Nugent-Hopkins for his 22nd of the season. McDavid picked up his 100th point, tying his league-leading total from last year.
RED WINGS 5, PENGUINS 2
DETROIT (AP) – Luke Glendening scored twice, Darren Helm matched his career high with three points and Detroit beat Pittsburgh.
Helm had a goal and two assists, and Frans Nielsen and Niklas Kronwall also scored for Detroit. Jimmy Howard made 22 saves to help the Red Wings win in regulation for the first time since a 3-1 victory over the Carolina Hurricanes on Feb. 24.
Sidney Crosby and Kris Letang scored for the Penguins. Matt Murray stopped 21 shots.
STARS 3, FLYERS 2, OT
DALLAS (AP) – Alexander Radulov scored 40 seconds into overtime as Dallas beat Philadelphia to end an eight-game winless streak.
Tyler Seguin passed from the right side across to Radulov, who beat goalie Petr Mrazek.
The Stars were 0-6-2 during their longest stretch without a win since moving to Dallas in 1993. With five games left, the Stars are five points back for the final playoff berth.
Philadelphia extended its points streak to six games (3-0-3) and remained two points ahead of New Jersey for the Eastern Conference’s top wild card.
ISLANDERS 4, SENATORS 3
OTTAWA, Ontario (AP) – Andrew Ladd scored the tiebreaking goal late in the third period to lift New York over Ottawa.
Anders Lee, Anthony Beauvillier and Brock Nelson also score.