1 Crucial skill every Spurs rookie should work on this offseason

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Dominick Barlow: Defensive Discipline

Dominick Barlow flashed fascinating defensive upside between his stints with Austin and San Antonio, showing excellent mobility while seamlessly switching across positions. A fantastic blend of secondary rim protection and perimeter coverage dramatically boosts his ceiling. But inexperience sometimes made him look unplayable versus well-seasoned scorers, and his god-given gifts are worthless without a sound foundation.

The undrafted forward averaged 6.3 fouls per 100 possessions, a number that tells the tale of an undisciplined defender, which isn't shocking given he was the youngest player on the Spurs' roster this season. Barlow often got too handsy when frontcourt bruisers bullied him in the post and had a bad habit of swiping down for blocks rather than practicing verticality. He has time to concentrate on those issues this offseason.

Julian Champagnie: Finishing

Julian Champagnie looked like a quintessential 3-and-D role player during his late-season audition with the Silver and Black, burying over 40% of his three-point attempts and using his 6-foot-10 wingspan to snuff out drives. The rookie wing gave Brian Wright and the front office every reason to re-sign him to another two-way contract this summer, but he has one glaring weakness that hampers his value on the offensive end.

Finishing near the basket is a substantial shortcoming for Champagnie, as he only converted 57.1% of his attempts inside the restricted area. The 21-year-old tested poorly in the agility and vertical portions of the 2022 NBA Draft Combine, and his lackluster first step and lift made it difficult for him to score on the rare occasions he got to the hoop. He must become more patient and crafty to negate his middling athleticism.

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