The Toronto Raptors liked undrafted Axel Toupane enough to give him a training camp invite, some guaranteed money and a spot on their NBA D-League affiliate Mississauga Raptors 905. They saw the potential in the 6’7 wing from France, invested the time and money into developing him and now they may lose him for nothing as the Denver Nuggets call him up to the NBA on a 10 day contract.
Denver plans to sign Toronto 905 forward Axel Toupane to a 10-day contract, league sources tell The Vertical.
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) March 1, 2016
The Raptors knew the risks associated with developing players in the 905, NBA teams hold no rights to players in the D-League who are not part of their 15 man NBA roster, but this still has to hurt. Toupane didn’t look like a guy who be playing in the NBA anytime soon when he got here.
The big wing only played in two very forgettable preseason games with the Raptors, totaling 21.5 minutes and shooting 0-2 from the field to collect 0 points, 2 rebounds, 1 assist and 3 personal fouls.
His first month with the Mississauga Raptors 905 didn’t exactly lead one to believe he’d be NBA bound now either. Those first three games in November saw him shooting 29.3 percent from the field and 21.4 percent from three-point range. He looked overmatched and not quite ready here as well.
Things started to change by December and in January he put out some big time efforts that earned him a shot at the next level.
A 25 point and 10 assist night against the Vipers in early January likely caught someone’s attention,
Then a couple of 30 point nights against the BayHawks suggested he was taking his game up another notch,
In January, Toupane averaged 17.5 points on 43.6 percent shooting, 5.4 rebounds, 4.8 assists and 1.6 steals in 33.8 minutes over 11 games. His numbers are down a bit in February, but in his last game he scored 23 points on 6-8 shooting.
Toupane has the look of an NBA prospect. Hopefully he gets some minutes in Denver to see if he’s got the potential to be an NBA player.