Wagner, Wilson To Enter Draft, Not Hire Agents

Submitted by Ace on April 10th, 2017 at 3:19 PM

[Marc-Gregor Campredon]

Redshirt sophomore forward DJ Wilson announced he will enter the NBA Draft without hiring an agent.

Mere moments later, sophomore forward Moe Wagner did the same.

By not hiring agents, both players have left the window open for a return to Michigan. They can participate in the combine and work out for individual teams. The deadline to withdraw from the draft is May 24th. Wilson has been projected in the mid-to-late first round in some mocks; Wagner's projections have been mostly in the latter half draft. It's quite possible, as occurs quite often with the new rule, that one or both ends up returning.

Michigan currently has one open scholarship for the 2017-18 season; departures from Wagner and Wilson could bring that number to three. They are in continued pursuit of five-star C Mo Bamba, who'd be the ideal replacement but also has Duke, Kentucky, and Texas in hot pursuit. The coaches are also looking into grad transfer options; they're in contact with Wright State guard Mark Alstork, Howard guard James Daniel, and Pitt forward Cameron Johnson.



April 10th, 2017 at 3:27 PM ^

This isn't as big of a deal as it used to be since they essentially changed the rules. This is a legit opportunity to go get some feedback from NBA personnel on what they need to work on, etc. I've seen zero mock drafts that have Wilson or Wagner in the first round. It's always a concern that some unscrupulous sorts could convince them to leave.

But, seriously, anybody that's even a fringe prospect should consider doing this and that's been the general consensus for a while now. 


April 10th, 2017 at 3:51 PM ^

Kentucky's WHOLE TEAM did this last year. There are near ZERO downsides for the player and the university (assuming the player isn't told that they will get drafted early, leave early, and get screwed). If the player leaves when they shouldn't have, that's a bad decision that probably would have been made without team feedback.


April 10th, 2017 at 5:48 PM ^

Of course there is a downside to the university.  Recruiting this late in the game to replace one or both of them is a definite disadvantage.  If Bamba weren't to come--which he ain't--then we are playing with two slow unproven 5s and Robinson at the 4 without an obvious backup.

Blue In NC

April 10th, 2017 at 3:31 PM ^

This only would have been surprising had they not declared.  Why not participate, get feedback then return for a year to work on the areas indentified as weaknesses?


April 10th, 2017 at 3:33 PM ^

I expect both back, that said you have to be prepared for attrition every year. You can only keep playing the "nobody saw this coming" card so many times before it gets old. The only difference between DJ and the 1-2 and dones is DJ held a roster spot for two years and did nothing. Then when he does develop he leaves and you're unprepared for the consequences of that. Hopefully both make the right decision and come back.

Gucci Mane

April 10th, 2017 at 3:35 PM ^

The correct choice for both would be to come back. But sometimes kids get overly excited about the NBA and then end up career D-leaguers. Both have lottery potential in the 18 draft. Let's hope someone gets that through to them.


April 11th, 2017 at 8:43 AM ^

There are enough variables that it's difficult to be definitive on what is best for their futures. I agree that there are better odds for them if they develop here another year, but if either ends up picked late first or even in the second by, say, San Antonio or Golden State they're arguably in a better position than being taken in the lottery by the Knicks, Kings, Magic, etc. next year.


April 10th, 2017 at 3:37 PM ^

End this draft business now! For too long our young ones have been sent to fight in Vietnam. What did the Vietnamese ever do to us except for limpy lettuce on Bamh Mi? That's hardly actionable from a military viewpoint! And why are we drafting a German? Oh?! ... well nevermind... /Emily Litella


April 10th, 2017 at 3:51 PM ^

Will be tough to replace one of these guys and brutal to replace both. This is Michigan basketball though. We don't get kids but for a couple years more times than not and with down years in recruting....it's hard to maintain the standard. If they stay in the draft I hope they both go first round and tear it up. Hurts to lose kids annually that you feel could and maybe should be back. Hard to turn down a guaranteed 2 million though.


April 10th, 2017 at 3:52 PM ^

It's a smart move for each of them.  A great opportunity for quality feedback with no real down-side.  Selfishly, I hope they play for Michigan again next year, but wish them both great luck in pursuit of their dreams.


April 10th, 2017 at 3:54 PM ^

As many pointed out, declaring for the draft without an agent is not all that ominous.  But all the talk about consulting with the family and thank you for everything sure is.  That, plus Beilein stacking up grad transfer prospects like cordwood is deeply concerning.

Baby come back...


April 10th, 2017 at 3:55 PM ^

will be some NBA team that will take a chance on one or both but their last games exposed their weaknesses. DJ has to play with consistent force (not blocking out or dunking) and Wagner has to find a way to contribute even when his shot isn't falling.


April 10th, 2017 at 4:04 PM ^

How does Beilein recruit these spots? Does he actively pursue as if there are 3 open scholarships next year? That runs the risk of not having an open spot if DJ or Mo want to come back. Or does he simply wait until they have both made final decisions, in which case many of the top graduate transfers have already committed elsewhere by that point? The grad transfer market is so strong this year that that doesn't seem like the best move either. Or do most grad transfers commit after that May deadline?

Gentleman Squirrels

April 10th, 2017 at 6:01 PM ^

He doesn't really have to pursue anyone to replace Mo. As much as an experienced grad transfer sounds intriguing, we do have Davis and Teske waiting on the wings to take over for Mo. As for DJ, going after Mo Bamba is already a good option. They have similar skillsets and while DJ is much farther along his development, Bamba may have a higher ceiling when all is said and done. That being said, please please DJ and Mo come back.


April 10th, 2017 at 4:14 PM ^

I realize that not hiring agents is a good sign, and the future is unknowable etc., but does anyone who follows this more closely than me have any sense of what typically happens when players of Wagner and Wilson's profile get evaluated?  Is it typically a 50/50 coin toss or does history suggest that the odds lean one way or another?


April 10th, 2017 at 4:35 PM ^

If fringe first round guys don't have a reason to leave early (e.g. ego, family commitments, recruiting concerns), it seems like most come back. In particular here, both players are trending up. They will still have a chance to showcase their ability next year, and nobody on the roster is poised to take away minutes.


April 10th, 2017 at 4:16 PM ^

DJ was a foregone conclusion that he'd explore his draft options, while Moe was a little more of a surprise but not totally off the radar either...

Kids have one shot to do this in their college career, so pretty much no surprise that they'd choose to test the waters this year.

There's like zero reason not to throw your hat into the ring

Everyone Murders

April 10th, 2017 at 5:02 PM ^

Apart from my selfish interests, why wouldn't both players declare?  They are not bound by this decision, get the benefit of the combine, a team workout, and the knowledge that would come from the process.

I think both would benefit immensely from returning, because neither is a lottery pick (especially in a good draft class like this years), and late first rounders and second rounders in general often fade to oblivian by declaring early.  But why would you not take the chance to gauge where you are if there is no real penalty for doing so?

My view changes 180 degrees if they were to hire an agent.  The way things are, it shows me what I already knew - they are bright and talented players.


I Love Lamp

April 10th, 2017 at 5:32 PM ^

I just hope they make the right decision. If you are told you are first round material by the experts, then go make that money. But anything less, just come back and pretty much cement first round/lottery status next year.

Yinka Double Dare

April 10th, 2017 at 5:58 PM ^

With the rules where they are right now, I think you're nuts if you DON'T do this if you're a guy scouts are talking about and there's any talk of you being drafted. There's basically zero downside for the player. You could get hurt working out for a team I guess, but you'd be working out and practicing regardless. Even if you have absolutely zero intention of staying the draft, you get feedback from pro scouts, you get experience in the process for later when you do plan on staying in the draft. 



April 10th, 2017 at 9:22 PM ^

I know I selfishly want both of them to come back, I just don't see either of them being physically ready to play in the association. They just aren't strong enough, and neither of them box out consistently. That next level of competition will eat them up.