76ers sign UDFA Julian Champagnie to two-way contract, what you need to know

COLLEGE BASKETBALL: FEB 05 St John’s at Butler
INDIANAPOLIS, IN – FEBRUARY 05: St John’s Red Storm guard Julian Champagnie (2) stands at the foul line during the menÕs college basketball game between the Butler Bulldogs and St John’s Red Storm on February 5, 2022, at Hinkle Fieldhouse in Indianapolis, IN. (Photo by Zach Bolinger/Icon Sportswire)

The Philadelphia 76ers‘ offseason is now in full swing, with Daryl Morey quickly getting to work to upgrade the roster. While the transactions have been highlighted by the trade for De’Anthony Melton, there are a few other quieter additions that have been made. One new face that was announced shortly after the draft was 6’8″ wing Julian Champagnie out of Saint Johns.

Who is Julian Champagnie?

A three-year starter at Saint John’s, Julian Champagnie had an accomplished college career where he was named a Big East All-Freshman, the 2020-21 Big East Most Improved Player, and an All-Big East First Team member for two consecutive seasons. The small forward stands 6’8″ and is solidly built at 220 pounds. In his final season of college, he averaged 19.2 points, 6.6 rebounds, 2.0 assists, 2.0 steals, and 1.1 blocks per game. He also shot 33.7% on 6.2 three-point attempts per game.

This was a small dip in production from what Champagnie did as a sophomore. During the 2020-21 season, he averaged 19.8 points and 7.4 rebounds while shooting 38% from deep on 6.3 attempts per game. His lack of athleticism and the dip in efficiency sunk his draft stock and is likely the reason Champagnie went undrafted.

Why He Makes Sense for the 76ers

The Philadelphia 76ers have lacked effective three-and-D role players for several years now. This archetype of player has become increasingly important in the modern NBA, and Champagnie effectively checks this box. He has signed on as a two-way contract, meaning he will split time with the Delaware Blue Coats and the regular Sixers roster. The other two-way slot the 76ers possess will be taken up by Charlie Brown Jr, who made an impactful splash during the season last year. This may be somewhat odd considering the Sixers still lack complete two-way wings on their full-time roster but have two on the two-way track.

Regardless, the Julian Champagnie addition should be viewed positively for the 76ers. While the lack of athleticism and creation ability are the biggest concerns in his game, he seems to have legit NBA ability. He excels in off-ball scoring plays, which bodes well for his NBA fit. He is a volume three-point shooter who averaged 8.5 three-point attempts per 100 possessions this season. To put this in perspective, this would be the most on the current Sixers roster as Georges Niang led the team with 8.0 three-point attempts per 100 possessions. His shooting ability may largely be his swing skill at the NBA level, but the volume is encouraging.

It is clear that Daryl Morey still has some bigger moves in the works. However, the influx of young talent is a very promising sign for the organization. The developmental pathway for the 76ers is one that has needed some work, and there are some encouraging signs it is moving in the right direction. Julian Champagnie is an intriguing talent in a positional need for the Sixers. It is unlikely he will make an immediate impact this season, but he is a name to keep an eye on moving forward.

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