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Denver Nuggets sign forward Axel Toupane to 10-day contract

Nate Timmons Avatar
March 3, 2016


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Axel Toupane at Pepsi Center. Photo credit: Nate Timmons.
Axel Toupane at Pepsi Center. Photo credit: Nate Timmons.

With Danilo Gallinari expected to miss at least one month with his right ankle injury, the Denver Nuggets have signed 6-foot-7, 197 pound forward Axel Toupane (pronounced: Two-pan) to a 10-day contract, according to a press release from the team.

The Nuggets had two open roster spots after the trade deadline when they parted ways with veterans J.J. Hickson and Steve Novak (Novak and D.J. Augustin were acquired in the trade with Oklahoma City that sent Randy Foye to the Thunder). They jumped at the chance to sign defensive minded forward JaKarr Sampson, who was waived by the Philadelphia 76ers – bringing their roster to 14 players.

And after the Gallinari injury news, the Nuggets were again in need of depth on the wing – enter 23 year-old Toupane. He’s a versatile guy on the defensive end, who is still developing as a shooter on the offensive end. Toupane looks comfortable with the ball in his hands and can be a playmaking wing. The Nuggets will get to take a close look at a prospect on their radar in their final 22 games — not a bad way to audition Michael Malone’s program. If you’re looking for an NBA comparison, think Thabo Sefolosha.

Toupane appeared in 32 games with the 905s and averaged 14.6 points on 42.9 percent shooting, including 31.3 percent from 3-point land on 3.59 attempts per game and 78.6 percent from the foul line on 5.25 attempts. He also averaged 5.6 rebounds, 3.5 assists per game and 1.0 steal.


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A native of Mulhouse, France, he went undrafted in 2014. Toupane and Joffrey Lauvergne both hail from Mulhouse, both have played in the French national program and they have known each other since childhood. It’ll be good for Lauvergne to have a familiar face around and the two can converse in their native tongue.

After playing professionally in France since 2008, Toupane joined the Dallas Mavericks for Summer League and averaged 3.5 points and 2.0 rebounds in just four games, but failed to make the team. He returned to France to again play for Strasbourg where he averaged 7.5 points, 2.5 rebounds and 1.4 assists in 42 games in the 2014-15 season.

In July of 2015 he signed an NBA deal with the Toronto Raptors that guaranteed him $25,000, but was unable to make the team and was waived on Oct. 24th just ahead of the regular season. The Raptors kept Toupane close, as he signed with the Raptors 905 of the D-League. The 905s are coached by Jesse Mermuys, who was an assistant with George Karl and the Denver Nuggets from 2008-12.



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