After a knee injury in Las Vegas Summer League delayed his progression, rookie Moe Wagner was in the spotlight during a recent win against the Phoenix Suns. He entered the game during garbage time and scored his first point on a free throw, sending the bench into a frenzied celebration.
Wagner finished with 10 points but later surpassed that to set a new career high by scoring 12 against Washington Wizards, albeit in a loss. Even though Wagner hasn’t been able to crack head head coach Luke Walton’s rotation thanks to the Lakers’ depth up front, the rookie is still revered.
“He talks a lot, he plays hard, he talks a lot. He’s very competitive, which we love,” Walton recently said. “He’s sets good screens, he can pass, he can shoot, and he likes to talk trash. It’s a good combination for what we encourage around our practice facility.”
Wagner is clearly someone the coaches and teammates enjoy having around as you simply don’t see that type of reaction from the bench for just anybody. He obviously has an intriguing skill set, particularly as a potential stretch center, but his personality stands out to anyone who’s around him.
He probably won’t make a huge impact on the Lakers this season as the team will rely on McGee, Chandler, Kyle Kuzma and LeBron James for frontcourt minutes, but that doesn’t mean Wagner isn’t working hard every day to improve his game.
Although he remains with the team, Wagner should receive more time with the South Bay Lakers in the G League. Wagner is averaging 18 points, 3.7 rebounds and 2.7 assists while shooting 53.5 percent from the field and 35.3 percent from 3-point range over three games with the affiliate.
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