Can Raptors reunite Justin Champagnie with his brother in Draft?

Dec 13, 2021; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Toronto Raptors forward Justin Champagnie (11) Mandatory Credit: Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports
Dec 13, 2021; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Toronto Raptors forward Justin Champagnie (11) Mandatory Credit: Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports /

Brooklyn-born twin brothers Justin Champagnie and Julian Champagnie appeared to be destined to enter the NBA together despite their divergent college choices. While Julian chose to stay local at St. John’s for one more season, Justin chose to capitalize on his standout career at Pitt and earn a two-way contract with the Toronto Raptors.

Julian chose to return with the intent of pumping up his draft stock. While he could go in the second round due to his scoring skill, he might be able to get himself into the first-round debate with a few more impressive performances for the Red Storm this season.

Champagnie is averaging over 20 points per game in the last two seasons, and he’s recorded at least 6.5 rebounds per game from the wing in each of his three seasons in college. Someone in the NBA will take a chance on a player with his production and experience.

The Raptors will likely have a pick in the teens this cycle, but they could easily trade down and acquire more capital if they find a player they like later in the draft. Justin has already proven to be an NBA-caliber player, and Julian might have even more potential given his more refined game.

Toronto Raptors: Could Julian Champagnie join Justin Champagnie?

While Justin is a smaller power forward capable of dominating the glass and finishing inside, Julian is a high-level shooter that will be a perimeter threat as soon as he steps on an NBA floor. Champagnie is making over 40% of his 3-pointers this season.

Champagnie also has tons of defensive potential, as he has a 6-10 wingspan that will cause issues on the perimeter. On a Toronto team that placed a premium on Scottie Barnes due to his length and strength, Champagnie makes a ton of sense.

Champagnie is averaging 1.9 steals and 1.5 blocks per game, showing that he could be an impact turnover-generator in the pros. While not as dominant inside as his brother, Julian might be the one with the higher offensive ceiling.

Champagnie’s issues stem from the fact he doesn’t possess elite athletic ability for a perimeter player. Without tremendous shot creation, he might get billed as just a spot-up shooter at the next level. That won’t be enough to completely sink his draft stock, however.

The two brothers have both contrasting play styles and personalities. While Justin was described as the more outgoing and adventurous of the two, Julian is a bit more introverted and reserved. The brothers could combine to become a major part of Toronto’s future if Masai Ujiri bring them back together.

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