The Nuggets have shored up their wing depth after losing Danilo Gallinari for an extended period of time due to an ankle injury. D-League swingman Axel Toupane signed a 10-day contract to fill the Nuggets’ final roster spot, the team announced.
Nate Timmons of BSNDenver reports that the newest Nugget was spotted at the Pepsi Center on Thursday, and could be available for the Nuggets’ next game against the Brooklyn Nets on Friday evening.
— Misko4Raznatovic (@MiskoRaznatovic) March 3, 2016
The 6-foot-7 rookie out of France was called up from the Raptors D-league affiliate, Raptors 905. Toupane (pronounced Two-Pan) received a training camp invite from the Raptors last fall, but has spent the entire season with their D-league affiliate since being cut. He was being developed at Raptors 905 under coach Jesse Mermuys and GM Dan Tolzman, both Masai Ujiri disciples who also worked under Ujiri during his time as GM of the Denver Nuggets.
Toupane was known as a versatile, defensive wing with Raptors 905. A potential four-position defender, Toupane also made offensive strides in the D-League, averaging 14.6 points and 3.5 assist per game on 42.9% shooting. Raptors Republic has an excellent in-depth progress report, citing his steady improvement and playmaking ability as major factors in his growth as an NBA prospect.
It’s hard to project exactly what Toupane’s role will be with Will Barton and JaKarr Sampson currently manning a good portion of wing minutes, but the 23-year old rookie is a solid, low-risk addition as the Nuggets close out their season. The Nuggets have the option of signing Toupane to another 10-day contract after his current one elapses before they must either release him or sign him for the rest of the season.