Julian Champagnie was one of the most intriguing prospects in the 2021 NBA draft. The 6-foot-8 forward from St. John’s averaged 19.8 points and 7.4 rebounds per game as a sophomore, while shooting 38% from three-point range.
He also showed flashes of defensive versatility and athleticism that made him a potential fit for the modern NBA.
However, Champagnie went undrafted and signed a two-way contract with the Toronto Raptors. He appeared in only four games for the Raptors, averaging 2.3 points and 1.5 rebounds in 6.8 minutes per game.
He spent most of his time with the Raptors 905 in the G League, where he posted 16.3 points and 7.1 rebounds per game on 44% shooting from the field and 35% from beyond the arc.
In March 2022, Champagnie was traded to the San Antonio Spurs in exchange for a second-round pick. The Spurs were looking for some young talent to bolster their rebuilding efforts, and Champagnie seemed like a low-risk, high-reward gamble.
He joined the Spurs’ G League affiliate, the Austin Spurs, and continued to impress with his scoring and rebounding prowess. He averaged 18.7 points and 8.9 rebounds per game in 15 games with Austin, while shooting 47% from the field and 39% from three.
However, Champagnie never got a chance to showcase his skills with the Spurs’ main roster. He was waived by the team in July 2022, before the start of the summer league. The Spurs decided to part ways with Champagnie to make room for their draft picks and free agents, and he became a free agent himself.
So, does Julian Champagnie deserve another shot with the Spurs? The answer is yes.
Champagnie is still only 22 years old, and he has shown enough potential to warrant another look from the Spurs. He has a versatile skill set that could fit well with the Spurs’ system and culture.
He can score from inside and outside, rebound at a high rate, and defend multiple positions. He also has a high motor and a good work ethic that could help him improve his game.
The Spurs are in need of some young talent to complement their core of Dejounte Murray, Keldon Johnson, Devin Vassell, Josh Primo, and Jakob Poeltl. They have some roster spots available after waiving Al-Farouq Aminu and Keita Bates-Diop, and they could use some depth at the forward position. Champagnie could be a cheap and valuable addition to the Spurs’ rotation, especially if he can translate his G League production to the NBA level.
Of course, Champagnie is not a perfect prospect. He still has some areas of improvement that he needs to work on. He needs to become more consistent with his shooting, especially from the free throw line where he shot only 66% last season.
He also needs to improve his ball-handling and playmaking skills, as he averaged more turnovers than assists in both college and the G League. He also needs to add some strength and bulk to his frame, as he could struggle against bigger and stronger opponents in the NBA.
However, these are not insurmountable flaws that Champagnie cannot overcome with time and development. He has shown enough promise and potential to deserve another shot with the Spurs, or any other NBA team that is willing to give him an opportunity.
Champagnie is a talented player who could become a valuable contributor in the league if given the right situation and guidance.
The Spurs have a history of finding gems in the draft and developing them into stars or solid role players. They have also given second chances to players who were overlooked or discarded by other teams, such as Danny Green, Patty Mills, Bryn Forbes, Rudy Gay, and Gorgui Dieng.
Julian Champagnie could be the next player to benefit from the Spurs’ culture and system if they decide to bring him back.
Julian Champagnie deserves another shot with the Spurs.
Final Thoughts: Julian Champagnie Deserves Another Shot with the Spurs
Julian Champagnie is a talented prospect with a versatile skill set that could fit well with the San Antonio Spurs’ system and culture. He has shown promise in both college and the G League, and he has the potential to become a valuable contributor in the NBA if given the right situation and guidance.
Despite being waived by the Spurs in July 2022, Champagnie should be given another shot with the team or any other NBA team that is willing to take a chance on him.
Champagnie has some areas of improvement that he needs to work on, such as his shooting consistency, ball-handling and playmaking skills, and physical strength.
However, these are not insurmountable flaws that cannot be addressed through time and development. Champagnie has a high motor and a good work ethic that could help him overcome these challenges and reach his potential.
The Spurs have a history of finding and developing talented players, and they have also given second chances to overlooked or discarded players. Champagnie could be the next player to benefit from the Spurs’ culture and system if they decide to bring him back.
The Spurs have some roster spots available and could use some depth at the forward position, making Champagnie a cheap and valuable addition to their rotation.
In conclusion, Julian Champagnie deserves another shot with the Spurs or any other NBA team that is willing to give him an opportunity.
He is a talented player with a versatile skill set and a high potential ceiling. With the right situation and guidance, Champagnie could become a valuable contributor in the league and a success story of perseverance and hard work.