Milwaukee Bucks Reportedly Adding D-League Forward Axel Toupane

Mar 6, 2016; Denver, CO, USA; Denver Nuggets guard Axel Toupane (6) defends against Dallas Mavericks guard Deron Williams (8) in the second quarter at the Pepsi Center. Mandatory Credit: Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports
Mar 6, 2016; Denver, CO, USA; Denver Nuggets guard Axel Toupane (6) defends against Dallas Mavericks guard Deron Williams (8) in the second quarter at the Pepsi Center. Mandatory Credit: Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports /

Not long after opening up a roster spot following the Roy Hibbert trade, the Milwaukee Bucks are rumored to sign swingman Axel Toupane of the D-League to a 10-day contract.

Well, the roster moves keep on coming for the Milwaukee Bucks, even after the passing of this year’s trade deadline.

As we all know, the trade of Roy Hibbert yesterday afternoon opened up a spot on the team’s roster, leaving the Bucks with 14 players.  However, that seemed to have only been temporary as it didn’t take long for the Bucks to reportedly fill that spot last night.

According to D-League guru Chris Reichert of The Step Back, the Bucks are bringing in swingman Axel Toupane of the Raptors 905, the Toronto Raptors D-League affiliate, on a 10-day contract.

While a relative unknown to NBA followers, Toupane’s journey as a professional has been a long one up until this point, one that has had stops from all over the world.  Toupane got his first experience as a professional playing overseas for the French basketball club Strasbourg starting back in the 2011-12 season.

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From there, Toupane only improved on his raw ability by getting more experience on the court over the following few years.  After going undrafted in the 2014 NBA Draft, Toupane played one more season for Strasbourg before finally making his way over to North America.

His next stop took him to Toronto as he signed with the Raptors after the completion of the 2015 NBA Summer League in Las Vegas.  Although he would later be waived following the end of the preseason, it turned out to be a blessing in disguise as he joined the team’s D-League affiliate in their inaugural season last year.

That’s where the now 24-year old started to make his mark, showcasing his versatility on both ends of the floor by averaging 14.6 points per game, 5.6 rebounds per game and 3.6 assists per game.  As a result of his accomplishments, Toupane was named NBA Development League Most Improved Player at the end of the 2015-16 season.

However, Toupane’s hard work in the D-League last year was enough to get a call up by the Denver Nuggets in early March for a 10-day contract.  He found his way into the team’s rotation pretty quickly to earn a second 10-day deal before eventually parlaying that into a multi-year, non-guaranteed contract before the end of the year.

Unfortunately, Toupane’s stay in the Mile High City was cut short midway through the preseason before the start of this year.  But yet another silver lining came Toupane’s way as he made his way back to Mississauga, Ontario to play as part of the Raptors 905 once again this season.

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Playing under former Buck and famed National Anthem superstar Jerry Stackhouse, Toupane has only continued to grow this year.

Through 27 games, Toupane has raised his efficiency from the field as well as his trips to the free-throw line, averaging a 61.4 true shooting percentage on 16.1 points per game.  In addition to that, Toupane is averaging 3.9 rebounds per game, 3.3 assists per game and 1.2 steals per game.

Those numbers, along with the team’s stellar record, were good enough for Toupane to get selected to the D-League All-Star game set in New Orleans.  Now just a week after that honor, Toupane is reportedly set to make his second jump to the NBA during the regular season, now in Milwaukee.

With his arrival, Toupane helps bring some balance to the team’s roster at a key spot.  Although the early returns have been good, Khris Middleton is still getting back into a rhythm and figures to still be under a minutes restriction, according to Charles Gardner of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.  That, along with the unfortunate loss of Jabari Parker, left the Bucks with some question marks at the 3-spot, behind Giannis Antetokounmpo.

Toupane helps provide some depth in that way and while it remains to be seen what kind of opportunity he gets, the Bucks will certainly take a look at what the French international can do on the NBA level.

Next: Milwaukee Bucks Reportedly Trading Roy Hibbert

Who knows what the future holds for Toupane while he’s in Milwaukee, but hopefully, the opportunity is there for him to strike it rich here.  Here’s to hoping it does (clinks champagne glass).