CAMDEN, N.J. — Despite trading away their first-round pick in a deal for De’Anthony Melton, the Sixers did pick up some rookies Thursday night — very early Friday morning, technically.
The team is signing Julian Champagnie to a two-way contract, a source confirmed to NBC Sports Philadelphia. PhillyVoice’s Kyle Neubeck first reported the news.
Champagnie measured at 6-6.25 without shoes and 212 pounds at the NBA draft combine. The Brooklyn native averaged 19.2 points, 6.6 rebounds, 2.0 assists and 2.0 steals as a junior at St. John’s.
He made 33.7 percent of his three-point tries, although The Athletic’s Sam Vecenie notes that’s an ungenerous reflection of his shooting ability.
“A ridiculous 73 percent of his catch-and-shoot opportunities were guarded last season, which meant that he hit only 32 percent in those scenarios,” Vecenie wrote in his 2022 draft guide. “But he’s a better shooter than that. Makes them off relocations and with a hand in his face. Can hit stepbacks going to both his right and to his left.”
Champagnie will turn 21 years old next week. So will his twin brother Justin, a Pitt product who went undrafted and signed a two-way deal with the Raptors last July.
Charlie Brown Jr. is the other Sixer currently on a two-way contract. The 25-year-old got a shot with his hometown team last year when the Sixers were shorthanded because of COVID-19-related absences and impressed at times with his defensive talent and athleticism.
“A lot of guys got a chance last year because of COVID and all that, and Charlie really, really helped," Sixers president of basketball operations Daryl Morey said during his post-draft press conference. “He showed he can be a defender; that was a big step for him. … We think he’s got a shot. The nice thing is because of COVID, the two-ways get more of a chance to play; there’s (fewer) rules making it hard. So I could see him getting minutes, for sure.”
As two-way players, Brown and Champagnie will be able to play with both the Sixers and Delaware Blue Coats next season.
The team also agreed to a deal with G League Ignite power forward Michael Foster Jr. He's expected to play with the Sixers in summer league, a source said. The Athletic's Shams Charania first reported Foster's agreement with the team.