Justin Champagnie

Atlantic Notes: Iverson, Sixers, Watanabe, Raptors, Celtics

Former Sixers star Allen Iverson would be interested in working for an NBA team, he said during a conversation with Taylor Rooks of Bleacher Report (video link; hat tip to RealGM). Iverson told Rooks that he’s “forgotten more basketball than some people know” and would love to put his expertise to use by helping current NBA players — especially if he could so in Philadelphia with his old team.

“I’m a Sixer for life. I’ve got Sixer blood pumping through me. Everybody knows that I want to help that organization,” Iverson said. “I’ve been retired, what, 11 years? I don’t know how I’m not a part of that staff (in) some kind of way.”

Iverson added that he’s not necessarily interested in being “the guy that’s right up front” (ie. a head coach) and that even just being a consultant for the Sixers would make him happy.

Here’s more from around the Atlantic:

  • Addressing reports that the Sixers and Pacers have discussed a potential Ben Simmons trade, Keith Pompey of The Philadelphia Inquirer says that if the 76ers can get Malcolm Brogdon, Caris LeVert, and a future first-round pick in exchange for Simmons, they should pull the trigger. Philadelphia and Indiana have reportedly discussed both Brogdon and LeVert, though it’s unclear if either club has made an offer along those lines.
  • Raptors forward Yuta Watanabe is battling a left calf strain and won’t be available for Thursday’s game in Philadelphia, tweets Blake Murphy of The Athletic. As Michael Grange of Sportsnet.ca tweets, the injury is considered minor, so hopefully it won’t affect Watanabe’s standing as he fights for a spot on Toronto’s 15-man regular season roster.
  • While Scottie Barnes is drawing far more interest, the Raptors‘ “other” rookies – Dalano Banton and Justin Champagnie – are also vying for playing time, as Josh Lewenberg of TSN.ca details. Given the team’s roster turnover and injury issues, there are opportunities in the rotation available for the taking, Grange writes for Sportsnet.ca.
  • Al Horford‘s return to Boston reunites him with Robert Williams, who considered Horford a veteran role model during his previous stint with the Celtics. Jared Weiss of The Athletic spoke to the two big men about their relationship during Williams’ rookie year in 2018/19 and how they can help one another going forward.

Justin Champagnie Joins Raptors On Two-Way Deal

AUGUST 7: Champagnie’s two-way contract is official, the Raptors announced on Twitter.


JULY 30: Undrafted second-year Pittsburgh wing Justin Champagnie will join the Raptors on a two-way deal, reports Blake Murphy of The Athletic (Twitter link).

The 6’6″ swingman spent two seasons with the Panthers. A 2020/21 All-ACC selection, the Brooklyn native averaged 18.0 PPG, 11.1 RPG, 1.6 APG, 1.3 BPG, and 1.2 SPG in 20 games during his sophomore season. He posted a slash line of .477/.311/.711.

Considered a solid player on both sides of the ball, Champagnie’s athleticism makes him intriguing at the pro level, though his underwhelming jump shooting may have hurt his draft stock. Not since former NBA big man DeJuan Blair had a Pittsburgh player averaged a double-double, though Champagnie has healthier knees.

Champagnie was listed as the 13th-best available undrafted rookie, per ESPN’s list.

Eastern Draft Notes: Hawks, Sixers, Cavaliers, Hornets

Tennessee guard Jaden Springer and Oregon guard Chris Duarte are expected to work out for the Hawks shortly before the draft, Chris Kirschner of The Athletic tweets. Duarte is ranked No. 23 on ESPN’s Best Available list, though he’s expected by some outlets to go higher, and Springer is rated No. 27. Atlanta holds the No. 20 pick.

We have more draft news involving Eastern Conference teams:

Eastern Notes: Sexton, Knicks, Heat, Hawks, Raptors

Following up on Shams Charania’s report that the Knicks have been the most aggressive trade suitor for Collin Sexton so far, Marc Berman of The New York Post confirms that the team has the Cavaliers guard on its trade radar.

According to Berman, the Knicks would’ve picked Sexton over Kevin Knox in the 2018 draft if he had slipped to No. 9 instead of being selected at No. 8. Berman adds that Knicks forward Obi Toppin, who played his college ball at Dayton, may be a player the Cavs would target in a trade.

A source tells Berman that the Knicks – who hold the 19th and 21st overall picks – are open to trading out of the first round entirely in order to acquire an “established player.” Sexton has certainly established himself as a talented scorer, having averaged 24.5 points per game in 2020/21, though it’s unclear if New York would be willing to offer both of its first-round picks in a package for him.

Here’s more from around the East:

Draft Notes: Pistons, Timberwolves, Banton, Hornets

Pittsburgh’s Justin Champagnie, Toledo’s Spencer Littleson, UC Santa Barbara’s Jaquori McLaughlin and Florida State’s M.J. Walker are among the players the Pistons worked out on Friday, Keith Smith tweets. The 6’6” Champagnie is ranked No. 63 among all prospects and 10th among small forwards by ESPN. The G League Ignite’s Daishen Nix also participated in the workout. Nix is ranked by No. 55 by ESPN and 10th among point guard prospects.

We have more draft-related news:

  • McLaughlin, ranked No. 93 by ESPN, also worked out recently for the Timberwolves, Darren Wolfson of KSTP tweets. The 6’4” McLaughlin was the Big West’s Conference Player of the Year. Ohio State guard Duane Washington Jr. also visited the Timberwolves, Wolfson adds in a separate tweet. Washington is participating in the G League Elite Camp in Chicago this weekend.
  • Nebraska guard Dalano Banton also received an invite to the Elite Camp, Jeremy Woo of Sports Illustrated tweets. Blanton averaged 9.6 PPG, 5.9 RPG and 3.9 APG last season.
  • The Hornets hosted several prospects on Thursday, including North Carolina’s Armando Bacot, Dayton’s Jalen Crutcher, Winthrop’s Chandler Vaudrin, Tennessee’s Yves Pons and Washington’s Nahziah Carter, according to Matthew Stephens of the Charlotte Observer. Pons, a small forward, is ranked No. 88.

Full List Of 2021 NBA Draft Combine Participants

The NBA has revealed via press release its list of 69 players who have been invited to next week’s draft combine in Chicago and who are expected to attend. The combine will take place from June 21-17.

While several of the prominent names at the top of the draft will opt to skip the event – most notably, presumed number one pick Cade Cunningham and Gonzaga’s Jalen Suggs – there are several high-profile prospects set to attend. Evan Mobley, widely considered a likely choice for the No. 2 pick as well as potential top-five picks Jonathan Kuminga and Jalen Green headline the class of participants this year, along with potential lottery picks Moses Moody, Corey Kispert and Scottie Barnes.

According to the press release, players will conduct interviews with NBA teams, participate in five-on-five games, and go through shooting, strength and agility drills throughout the week-long event. It’s likely that the more high-profile names will focus more on the interviews than the drills.

The press release also confirms that a select number of standout players from the G League Elite Camp will be invited to participate in the Combine as well.

Here’s the full list of 69 names announced by the NBA today, in alphabetical order:

  1. Max Abmas, G, Oral Roberts (sophomore)
  2. Ochai Agbaji, G, Kansas (junior)
  3. Marcus Bagley, F, Arizona State (freshman)
  4. Scottie Barnes, F, Florida State (freshman)
  5. Charles Bassey, C, Western Kentucky (junior)
  6. Brandon Boston Jr., G/F, Kentucky (freshman)
  7. James Bouknight, G, UConn (sophomore)
  8. Greg Brown, F, Texas (freshman)
  9. Jared Butler, G, Baylor (junior)
  10. Julian Champagnie, G/F, St. John’s (sophomore)
  11. Justin Champagnie, G/F, Pittsburgh (sophomore)
  12. Josh Christopher, G, Arizona State (freshman)
  13. Sharife Cooper, G, Auburn (freshman)
  14. Ayo Dosunmu, G, Illinois (junior)
  15. David Duke, G, Providence (junior)
  16. Kessler Edwards, F, Pepperdine (junior)
  17. Luka Garza, C, Iowa (senior)
  18. RaiQuan Gray, F, Florida State (junior)
  19. Jalen Green, G, G League Ignite (auto-eligible)
  20. Quentin Grimes, G, Houston (junior)
  21. Sam Hauser, F, Virginia (senior)
  22. Aaron Henry, G/F, Michigan State (junior)
  23. Ariel Hukporti, C, Lithuania (born 2002)
  24. Matthew Hurt, F, Duke (sophomore)
  25. Nah’Shon Hyland, G, VCU (sophomore)
  26. Isaiah Jackson, F, Kentucky (freshman)
  27. David Johnson, G, Louisville (sophomore)
  28. Jalen Johnson, F, Duke (freshman)
  29. Keon Johnson, G, Tennessee (freshman)
  30. Herb Jones, F, Alabama (senior)
  31. Kai Jones, F, Texas (sophomore)
  32. Johnny Juzang, G/F, UCLA (sophomore)
  33. Corey Kispert, F, Gonzaga (senior)
  34. Jonathan Kuminga, F, G League Ignite (auto-eligible)
  35. Scottie Lewis, G, Florida (sophomore)
  36. Isaiah Livers, F, Michigan (senior)
  37. Makur Maker, C, Howard (freshman)
  38. Sandro Mamukelashvili, F/C, Seton Hall (senior)
  39. Tre Mann, G, Florida (sophomore)
  40. Matthew Mayer, G/F, Baylor (junior)
  41. Miles McBride, G, West Virginia (sophomore)
  42. Davion Mitchell, G, Baylor (junior)
  43. Evan Mobley, F/C, USC (freshman)
  44. Isaiah Mobley, F, USC (sophomore)
  45. Moses Moody, G, Arkansas (freshman)
  46. Trey Murphy III, G, Virginia (junior)
  47. Daishen Nix, G, G League Ignite (auto-eligible)
  48. John Petty Jr., G, Alabama (senior)
  49. Yves Pons, G/F, Tennessee (senior)
  50. Jason Preston, G, Ohio (junior)
  51. Joshua Primo, G, Alabama (freshman)
  52. Roko Prkacin, F, Croatia (born 2002)
  53. Neemias Queta, C, Utah State (junior)
  54. Austin Reaves, G, Oklahoma (senior)
  55. Jeremiah Robinson-Earl, F, Villanova (sophomore)
  56. Terrence Shannon Jr., G/F, Texas Tech (sophomore)
  57. Day’Ron Sharpe, F/C, North Carolina (freshman)
  58. Jericho Sims, F/C, Texas (senior)
  59. Jaden Springer, G, Tennessee (freshman)
  60. DJ Steward, G, Duke (freshman)
  61. Cameron Thomas, G, LSU (freshman)
  62. JT Thor, F, Auburn (freshman)
  63. Isaiah Todd, F, G League Ignite (auto-eligible)
  64. Trendon Watford, F, LSU (sophomore)
  65. Joe Wieskamp, G/F, Iowa (junior)
  66. Ziaire Williams, F, Stanford (freshman)
  67. McKinley Wright IV, G, Colorado (senior)
  68. Moses Wright, F, Georgia Tech (senior)
  69. Marcus Zegarowski, G, Creighton (junior)

Draft Notes: Champagnie, Early Entrants, Myrtle Beach Combine

Pittsburgh sophomore wing Justin Champagnie, who initially decided to test the 2021 NBA draft waters in March, has decided to forgo his remaining NCAA eligibility and go pro, agent Todd Ramasar confirms to Jonathan Givony of ESPN (Twitter link).

Champagnie enjoyed a breakout year in 2020/21, averaging 18.0 points and 11.1 rebounds per game in 20 contests (34.4 MPG). He’s not a lock to be drafted, but he’ll certainly receive second-round consideration — ESPN currently lists him as the No. 66 prospect on its 2021 big board.

Here are a few more draft-related updates:

  • Agent Misko Raznatovic has announced that several of his clients are entering the draft, including French shooting guard Malcolm Cazalon, Bosnian big man Karlo Matkovic, Serbian forward Dalibor Ilic, and Bosnian center Kenan Kamenjas (all Twitter links). They’ll all retain the ability to withdraw from this year’s draft pool at a later date.
  • Jonathan Wasserman of Bleacher Report has published an update to his full, 60-pick mock draft. Having used Tankathon‘s tool to simulate the lottery results, Wasserman’s mock has the Raptors moving up to No. 2 and taking Evan Mobley, followed by the Kings nabbing Jalen Green at No. 3.
  • Kelly Iko of The Athletic spoke to former NBA scout Pete Mickeal, the creator of the Myrtle Beach International Combine, about the new pre-draft event, which is intended for prospects who may not be featured at the NBA’s official combine. It will take place from June 13-15 and will feature 40 college seniors, along with 20 international prospects.

Tre Mann, Others Declare For 2021 NBA Draft

Florida sophomore guard Tre Mann is entering the 2021 NBA draft and will forgo his remaining college eligibility, writes ESPN’s Jonathan Givony.

Mann played well in the SEC and NCAA tournaments this month, boosting his stock substantially in the eyes of NBA evaluators, says Givony. The 6’5″ guard averaged 16.0 PPG, 5.6 RPG, and 3.5 APG on .459/.402/.831 shooting in 24 games (32.4 MPG) this season.

Givony ranks Mann 15th on ESPN’s list of top 2021 prospects, calling him one of the most talented ball-handlers and shot-creators in this year’s draft class.

“I think that NBA teams were able to see my ability to play on and off the ball as well as my improved stats across the board,” Mann told ESPN. “I was able to showcase my leadership skills, efficiency shooting the ball, defensive versatility and ability to rebound.”

Here are some of the other prospects who have recently declared for the draft: