Franz Wagner named No.1 in Yahoo Sports’ NBA rookie rankings

Some years there always seems to be an obvious runaway to win NBA Rookie of the Year honors. During the 2021-2022 season there are several contenders for the prize, which creates fierce competition on the pitch.

One of the names competing for the award may also sound familiar to Michigan basketball fans.

Former Wolverine Wing and current Orlando Magic star player Franz Wagner appears as the # 1 rookie on Yahoo Sports’ Rookie Ranking List which was released Monday.

Here’s what Yahoo had to say about Wagner:

Wagner leads all rookies in the following categories: points (627), points per game (15.7), minutes played (1,288), goals scored (235) and free throws (104). Wagner is the dark horse of the Rookie of the Year race, which makes for a strong case. Even his teammate Cole Anthony is campaigning for him and expressed his frustration of Wagner neglected at the start of the season. Recently, Antoine said he was going to start calling Wagner “ROY” (Rookie of the Year) after a strong performance last month.

Wagner was named the Eastern Conference Rookie of the Month for December and averaged 19.5 points, 5.1 rebounds and 3.1 assists. He had a monster game against the Milwaukee Bucks where he finished with 38 points (including four 3-pointers) and added seven rebounds. Wagner becomes much more comfortable and does the right pick-and-roll readings as the primary ball handler. Wagner was the 8th overall pick and is a serious contender for the top rookie honor at the end of the season.

Despite Wagner’s success on the pitch, it didn’t translate into wins in the record books. The Magic sit last in the Eastern Conference with a 7-34 record, the worst in the league.

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