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Julian Champagnie reaches new deal with San Antonio Spurs

The former St. John’s star stays in the Alamo City after solid rookie campaign with a longer-term deal, joins Spurs' young core

NBA: San Antonio Spurs at New Orleans Pelicans Stephen Lew-USA TODAY Sports

There are very few birthday gifts better than receiving a seven-figure contract. One day after his 22nd birthday, former St. John’s star Julian Champagnie agreed to a guaranteed contract with the San Antonio Spurs, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.

The contract is a 4-year deal worth $12 million, with the final year being a team option. As part of the deal, Champagnie will be guaranteed a spot on the team’s 15-man roster.

After going undrafted in the 2022 NBA Draft, Champagnie signed a two-way deal with the Philadelphia 76ers. Outside two games with the main squad in limited minutes, Champagnie spent most of his time in the Sixers’ organization playing for their G-League affiliate Delaware Blue Coats. In February, he was placed on waivers before quickly signing a new two-way deal with the Spurs.

Given an audition to prove himself at the NBA level while the Spurs were looking ahead to the NBA draft, Champagnie showed that he deserved a spot in the Association.

Across 15 games and 3 starts, Champagnie averaged 11.0 points per game on 46.1 percent shooting from the field and a sharp 40.3 percent from three. He finished his abridged debut season with flying colors, averaging 20.0 points per game and 45.2 percent shooting from deep in the final five games.

Champagnie will play for one of the most buzz-worthy teams in the league next year, as his newest teammate is the wunderkind Victor Wembanyama, who was selected with the first overall pick by the Spurs in the 2023 draft. Champagnie will most likely play off the bench, but he could receive an increase in minutes with the potential departures of Keita Bates-Diop and Doug McDermott.