Thursday night's draft came a little more than a week before what could be the Lakers' most important free agency period since Shaquille O'Neal signed in 1996. After tabbing the German Wagner, the Lakers used the 39th pick (acquired from the Philadelphia 76ers in exchange for their 2019 second-round pick via the Chicago Bulls and cash) on another German, 6-9 forward Isaac Bonga.
While the Lakers are more likely to stay put at their current selection, there may be some names on the board in specific selections that intrigue the team. The former UCLA standout averages a career double-double and is a 37 percent 3-point shooter for his career.
Wagner grew up in the Prenzlauer Berg neighborhood of Germany's capital religiously watching National Basketball Association games and even American college hoops.More news: North Korea 'already starting' denuclearization
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"I remember getting up at 3 a.m., watching the games", Wagner said. "But the Lakers got not only a shooter; I can do way more than just shoot".
He was joined at the draft by his parents, several German friends and the MI coaching staff.
Los Angeles went 35-47 a year ago, missing the playoffs for the fifth straight season.
"We continue to have good dialogue with his management team", Altman said. Los Angeles has become an appealing destination for several reasons as the team has positioned itself to be able to bring aboard two players on max deals while the roster is full of young promising talent. "That's just the way I'm built, and I know Magic's built the same way and Jeanie [Buss] ultimately, we don't compete to play games, we compete to win championships so there will be a sense of urgency until that's accomplished".