The Magic selected Franz Wagner with the 8th overall pick in this past year's draft, a worthy investment that has certainly paid dividends. There are no guarantees in the draft, and even more so the further you remove yourself from 1.01. But, the Magic seemed to have nailed this one.
Franz played nearly every game for the Magic, was a scoring asset, a defensive dynamo, and got better as the season went along. Franz finished the season averaging 15pts 4.5rebs and 2.9assists on the year. Not bad for a rookie.
But, not good enough to be a rookie of the year finalist. No fault of his, this was just a tremendous class of rookies. Franz wasn't just competing with the 3 guys who won it, there were several other impact rookies this year as well. Guys like Herb Jones with New Orleans or Ayo Dosunmu with the Bulls. Not to mention Josh Giddey, Bones Hyland, and Jalen Green.
Franz is kind of in his own tier between those guys mentioned above and the 3 finalists.
Cade, Mobley, and Barnes were simply a cut above the rest this year. Mobley and Barnes actually contributed (heavily) to playoff caliber teams, and Cade looks like he's already prepared to take that superstar leap given the way he played in the back half of the season.
I know Magic fans are upset, but the NBA got this one right.