Milwaukee Bucks: Getting to know two-way player Axel Toupane

(NICOLAS ASFOURI/AFP via Getty Images)
(NICOLAS ASFOURI/AFP via Getty Images) /
2 of 3
(Photo by Andrej ISAKOVIC /AFP via Getty Images)
(Photo by Andrej ISAKOVIC /AFP via Getty Images) /

How did Axel Toupane fare when returning back overseas?

After logging various stints that only led to him being waived multiple times, Toupane took his talents overseas in the summer of 2017 to regather his bearings amid all of the stops and changes he had clawing his way into the NBA.

Joining Zalgiris for the 2017-18 season, Toupane further gained valuable experience playing for the Lithuanian giants as he and the team won the LKL (Lithuanian domestic league) as well as reached that year’s EuroLeague final four. Toupane was sensational throughout their run in the EuroLeague where he averaged 6.9 points on .503/.375/.711 shooting, 2.1 rebounds and 0.5 assists 15.3 minutes per game in 34 appearances.

Toupane’s stint with Zalgiris was contained to just one season as he then moved to play Olympiacos in Greece for the 2018-19 season. While he got off to a good start to the season and gained more experience playing in the EuroLeague, Toupane’s time with Olympiacos ended in turmoil as the club didn’t fulfill their payments to the forward and forced him to leave the team before the end of their run.

It took a few months for Toupane to land with a team, but he eventually found a home in Spain for the 2019-20 season where he played for Unicaja Malaga. At the same time, Toupane played a limited role in France’s run throughout the 2019 FIBA World Cup in China where he and Les Bleus ended up winning the bronze medal.

Unfortunately, Toupane’s run in Spain eventually getting cut short in February of 2020 after he suffered a partial rupture in his left Achilles tendon. After briefly signing a contract to return to Strabourg for the start of the 20-21 season that was cut short by a groin injury, Toupane returned back to the United States to join the Golden State Warriors for their training camp this year.

Upon signing a deal that helped them attain his G League rights, Toupane did it with the purpose of returning to the NBA and capitalizing on his second chance as he told Johnny Askounis of EuroHoops:

"“Since the end of the last season my goal is to return to the NBA,” said Toupane, a former player of the Denver Nuggets, Milwaukee Bucks, and New Orleans Pelicans, “I know that if I am in shape and with my experience, I have a real chance. I know the players better, I know my game better, I am overall better suited than three years ago.”"

Ultimately, Toupane proved himself right.