Title: Toupane hopes D-League Showcase prompts return to NBA
Date: January 19, 2017
Original Source: The Athletic
Synopsis: In my latest for The Athletic Toronto, I looked at top Raptors 905 prospect Axel Toupane, who could get the call back to the NBA any day now.
The largest victories at the NBA D-League Showcase are almost always of the Pyrrhic variety.
The list of goals at the league’s annual de facto 10-day contract audition tournament still includes winning, sure, but the event is designed to get NBA eyes on players who can most help a team over the final four months of the season. Do your job well at the organization level, and you just might come out the best player in your prospect pipeline.
For no team is that more a reality than Raptors 905, who are hosting the Showcase while also showcasing one of the top-five most likely players to be called up at its conclusion: Axel Toupane.
Toupane and the 905 have been here before. A year ago, Toupane leveraged his opportunity with the 905 into a 10-day contract with the Denver Nuggets in March. The Frenchman took enormous strides from the start of training camp with the parent club Toronto Raptors to his March call-up, earning D-League Most Improved Player honours in the process. The Nuggets liked him enough to sign him to a second 10-day contract, and then a two-year deal that was non-guaranteed for 2016-17.