The Toronto Raptors appear to be on the verge of turning yet another undrafted find into a viable NBA player. In the span of just over one season, Justin Champagnie has evolved from a toolsy college stat-stuffer into a quality NBA wing with a unique style of play.
Champagnie’s rebounding from the wing and tireless hustle helped him earn a two-year contract with the Raptors. Much like the other contracts signed by players at the back end of the roster, the money only becomes guaranteed if he makes the opening night roster.
The Raptors currently have four non-guaranteed contracts competing for what could be just two open spots, with DJ Wilson standing out as one of those names. Wilson and Champagnie will likely be pitted against one another, with the winner sticking around on the opening roster.
There are benefits to bringing both Champagnie and Wilson onto the roster, but Toronto might not be big enough for both of them. Nick Nurse knows how vital quality depth will be, and this decision is going to be important if the Raptors get dealt with any sort of injuries.
Will the Toronto Raptors keep Justin Champagnie or DJ Wilson?
With Christian Koloko signing his NBA deal soon, that will vacuum up the 13th guaranteed contract spot on the Raptors’ books. With Toronto unlikely to keep both Dalano Banton and sharpshooter Armoni Brooks, one of these players will have to unfortunately get the ax.
Champagnie has the benefit of youth and versatility on his side. If he can prove that his offensive game is more well-rounded, Nick Nurse would have no issue giving a roster spot to a player that can impact the game on both ends and man multiple positions. Having just turned 21, Champagnie has his best basketball ahead of him.
Wilson might beat him out on the back of experience and physical tools. A 6-10 mobile big on a team still lacking height, Wilson showed that his jumper is more effective in Summer League play. Wilson has looked effective in limited action, and he will be a better frontcourt defender than Champagnie.
In a perfect world, the Raptors would find some way to make sure that both players find a way to trickle onto the roster. However, it seems likely that one of Champagnie or Wilson will get the boot. Champagnie has a higher long-term ceiling, which should facilitate keeping him around.