Champagnie on Ice: Julian Champagnie Prospect Watch

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The San Antonio Spurs should be excited about the upcoming NBA Draft Lottery. They’ll have a Top-10 pick in the first round. However, they will have plenty of chances of drafting a gem in the second round or even grab someone for their Summer League team. One of those guys could be forward Justin Champagnie out of St. John’s.

The 6-foot-8, 215-pound forward does quite a few nice things on offense as a wing, but will have to improve his defense if he wants to stay on the floor. He has some shot creation and is nice in the mid-range. Here are his numbers from last season.

  • 19.2 PPG, 1.1 BPG, 2.0 SPG, 2.0 APG, 6.6 RPG
  • 41.4 FG%, 33.7 3P%, 78.1 FT%
  • 21.6 PER, 107.1 ORtg, 97.5 DRtg

Champagnie has been an excellent scorer in the last two seasons for St. John’s. His numbers dipped a little bit this year, but he is a reliable shooter from deep and in the mid-range. He struggles to finish near the rim at times since he is not super explosive, but he does have the strength to eventually get better there.

Since Champagnie likely won’t be asked to do a whole lot of self-creation to start, he will have to focus on some other aspects of his game that are appealing to teams. He will need to continue cutting and moving well off the ball, spotting up to shoot, and posting up smaller defenders. Those small but key components will determine his longevity and minutes in this league.

There are plenty of aspects to Champagnie’s game that will help keep him a pro, but there are plenty of skills he has to improve as well. He has to get faster off the first dribble, finish in traffic more often, and get quicker overall in order to guard those faster players on the perimeter. He will also want to work on his passing to go with his lowered turnover percentage (from 9.7 to 7.3) since that will be valued in the Spurs system. Look for Champagnie in the second round or on a Summer League squad as an undrafted free agent.

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