The Lakers gave up their first-round pick this year, which went to the Philadelphia 76ers. Should Lopez leave, Wagner could help offset the 112 3-pointers he made last season. But before the Lakers find out whether Paul George, LeBron James or Kawhi Leonard will land in Hollywood, they added Wagner to their foundation of young talent including Brandon Ingram, Lonzo Ball, Kyle Kuzma and Josh Hart. "Coach [Luke] Walton used to play, he is a player's coach, he wants his players to play and be confident, and they focus on playing fast, and that is something I am very excited to prove".
Sources said Johnson and Lakers general manager Rob Pelinka spoke to a large group of team employees, warning them about tampering.
Other than Newman, the Lakers also got Mo Wagner of MI and Newman's teammate in Kansas, Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk.
By drafting Mykhailiuk and stretch center Moritz Wagner, the Lakers are looking to shore up last season's 34.5 team 3-point percentage, which was the second-lowest in the National Basketball Association.
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"Both of (them) were elbowing Earvin and I that this guy would be fun to play with", Pelinka said.
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.
Wagner played in the youth system of German pro team ALBA Berlin before MI coach John Beilein traveled to Europe on a one-day recruiting trip and persuaded him to head for Ann Arbor.
He led MI to the National Championship game and scored 24 points and grabbed 15 rebounds in a Final Four win over Loyola. He's just going to do his job and embrace it he said after getting the call from Pelinka.