Draft Updates: Wagner, Eastern, Hlinason, Birutis

Michigan center Moritz Wagner is going pro, announcing his decision over the weekend with an essay on The Players’ Tribune. Within an in-depth piece explaining his decision, Wagner indicated that he’ll hire an agent, forgoing his final year of NCAA eligibility.

A 6’11” junior, Wagner was a key piece of a Wolverines squad that made a run to the NCAA Final Four this year, losing to Villanova in the title game. For the 2017/18 season, Wagner averaged 14.6 PPG and 7.1 RPG with a shooting line of .528/.394/.694. He’s considered a top-50 prospect by ESPN draft expert Jonathan Givony, coming in at No. 48 on ESPN’s big board.

Here are more draft-related updates:

  • Purdue guard Nojel Eastern didn’t play a major role for the Boilermakers during his freshman year, averaging just 12.6 minutes per game in 37 contests. Nonetheless, he’ll test the draft waters this spring, entering the 2018 pool without an agent, according to a press release from the program.
  • Icelandic big man Tryggvi Hlinason is declaring for the 2018 NBA draft, a source tells Jonathan Givony of ESPN. The 7’1″ center hasn’t played much for Valencia in Spain this season, but comes in at No. 75 on Givony’s big board of 2018 prospects and is considered a potential second-round pick by NBA teams.
  • Lithuanian center Laurynas Birutis has entered the 2018 NBA draft, his agent confirmed to Givony. “The NBA has always been my dream,” Birutis said. “Therefore, I would like to try my chances there. This was not a difficult decision, because I want to try to compete against the best players in the world.” Birutis is just 20 years old, but is having a productive season in Lithuanian, averaging 15.1 PPG and 7.0 RPG in 25 MPG for BC Siauliai.
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