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Moritz Wagner (PF, LAL) - Week 23 Waiver Wire Pickups

BALLER MOVE: Add In 14-Team Leagues

OWNED IN: 8% of leagues

ANALYSIS: I'm not sure if you've heard, but the Los Angeles Lakers (and therefore LeBron James) are going to be absent from the 2019 NBA playoffs. As a result, the Lakers and coach Luke Walton (who is in hot water to boot) are limiting King James's playing time moving forward. This comes in conjunction with season-ending injuries to Lonzo Ball and Brandon Ingram, as well as current health woes for Josh Hart and Lance Stephenson. To fill the gaping void that currently exists in their lineup, the Lakers have recently turned to little-known project players such as Johnathan Williams, Alex Caruso, and German big man and former Michigan Wolverine Moritz Wagner. The 2018 25th overall draft pick has had a rather quiet rookie season for LA, posting just 3.9 points, 1.7 rebounds, and 0.2 blocks in 8.6 minutes per contest through the first 30 games of his NBA career (with one appearance in the staring-five). He has also somewhat surprisingly been knocking down 0.5 three-pointers out of 1.7 attempts for game for a 32% conversion rate.

With the open window of opportunity on the floor for the Lakers down the homestretch of the regular season, "Mo" has been presented with ample time to make a lasting impression, and has succeeded in the minutes allowed. In seven games thus far through the month of March, he has been putting up 5.9 points and 2.3 rebounds in 14.8 minutes per game, all of which are season-high figures for any given month. Additionally, while he has only made 22.2% of his attempts from deep this month, he has at least converted 11 of his 12 attempts from the free-throw line for a success rate of 91.7%. Most important has been Wagner's play in games where he receives robust PT. In his two games this month that featured the most time on the floor (61 total minutes against the Nuggets and Celtics) he was able to produce 16.5 points, 4.5 rebounds, 2.5 assists, 1.0 steal, and 1.0 block per game. With the Lakers organizational plans to (cough, cough) take it easy over the remaining games of the regular season, Moritz Wagner is in prime position to see more games with high-volume minutes. That makes him an asset of considerable value in deeper leagues.

By popular demand, RotoBaller has aggregated all of our fantasy basketball NBA waiver wire pickups into a running list of NBA waiver options, so bookmark the page and check back often for updates.