2. Franz Wagner – Orlando Magic
Club Record: 7-33
If Franz Wagner was on a better team, then he very well may be the top contender for Evan Mobley’s award, yes Toronto fans, you heard me. Mobley’s award. It’s his award to lose. Wagner is easily the most efficient player of him, Mobley and Scottie Barnes. Barnes and Mobley have some top-level talent around them, unlike Wagner.
Cole Anthony is the only other talent of note on the team, but it’s not known if the two can play together well.
Wagner is playing around 32 minutes per game and has started all 39 games he’s played in. As the Magic’s small forward, he’s averaging 15.8 points, just shy of five rebounds and over two and a half assists per game.
He’s got an offensive RAPTOR score of +1.1 and a defensive RAPTOR score of +0.2. He’s the only player on this list with a losing record to have positive figures in either category.
Why he’s a candidate
Unlike the rest of the names before him, he’s been highly efficient despite the lack of productivity from his teammates. The Magic’s roster isn’t exactly loaded with talent and Anthony is the only other name worth talking about on their roster at the moment. To see someone put up the numbers he’s doing on a team that bad is highly impressive.
Why he’s not a candidate
For the same reason as everyone else; the Magic are no good and when compared to the likes of Mobley and Scottie Barnes, you can’t just be good. You have to be a big reason why your team is winning, like with Mobley and the Cleveland Cavaliers.