Houston Rockets DeMarcus Cousins replacement #3: Moritz Wagner
Moritz Wagner is an interesting young center that has the ability to blend the modern and old-school demands of the position. He is 6’11 but moves with the fluidity and grace of a wing.
Every season of his career he has posted incredibly efficient shooting numbers around the rim and is an adept rim-runner. In college, Wagner was a career 38.5-percent 3-point shooter but he has struggled to adjust to NBA range, only connecting on 29.9-percent of his NBA threes.
However, Wagner’s stroke looks pure and his career 78.9-percent mark from the free-throw line indicates that one day he could become a credible threat from behind the arc. While Wagner appears to be a perfect backup center for the Rockets, he will be a hard player to acquire.
As long as the Washington Wizards continue to believe they are a playoff team, Wagner will be off-limits. After Thomas Bryant went down with an ACL injury, Wagner has seen his role expand and he has done an admirable job.
Eventually, the Wizards will see the light, or the math, and realize that making the playoffs this season is not in their best interests. The franchise already has their center of the future in Bryant and moving Wagner for some future pieces should be a move they’re receptive to.
Wagner has one more year left on his deal, a team option for $3.8 million, which means the Rockets can have an extended look at him before deciding if he’s a player that fits into their future plans. With the playoffs looking unlikely and the cost it’d take to get Wagner, he needs to be someone the franchise thinks can be a factor for the long haul.