Raptors: Grading Scottie Barnes and the rookies after preseason

TORONTO, ON - OCTOBER 11: Scottie Barnes #4 of the Toronto Raptors (Photo by Cole Burston/Getty Images)
TORONTO, ON - OCTOBER 11: Scottie Barnes #4 of the Toronto Raptors (Photo by Cole Burston/Getty Images) /
facebooktwitterreddit
Prev
4 of 4
Next
Justin Champagnie, Toronto Raptors
TORONTO, ON – OCTOBER 11: Justin Champagnie #11 of the Toronto Raptors (Photo by Cole Burston/Getty Images) /

Justin Champagnie

Despite the fact he averaged a double-double at Pitt and made a run at ACC Player of the Year, Champagnie was not drafted, likely due to fears over if a 6-6 player barely over 200 pounds can play power forward in the pros. The Raptors have decided to make him an oversized wing/traditional PF hybrid, and the results were promising. 

Champagnie earned 18.4 minutes per game, and he proceeded to average 7.4 points, 5.8 rebounds, and 1.6 steals per game, all while showing off some tremendous defense and a nonstop motor. His 3-point shooting is a work in progress, but that didn’t stop Nurse from gushing about how he’s played.

https://twitter.com/AaronBenRose/status/1445436670631890945

The Toronto Raptors may have a gem in Justin Champagnie.

If Champagnie adds a bit more muscle and becomes a more reliable jump shooter, he could easily play a part in the regular rotation this season. His rebounding looks like it will translate, and he is further along as a defensive player than anyone anticipated.

Champagnie’s stay in the rotation might be short-lived, as Pascal Siakam coming back from injury will likely push him back to the bench. However, the Raptors seem to be enamored with what he can do as a defender, rebounder, and sparkplug off the bench. That preseason could seduce this coaching staff into giving him an NBA role.

Grade: A-

Next. Raptors Preseason superlatives and awards. dark