Axel Toupane

And-Ones: Age Limit, Summer League, Hibbert, Toupane

As we’ve relayed previously, NBA commissioner Adam Silver announced during an NBA Board of Governors meetings in Las Vegas last week that the NBA is ready to make changes to its age limit, thereby potentially allowing high school seniors the opportunity to jump straight to the NBA once again.

However, according to Jonathan Givony of ESPN, teams have been told privately by league officials not to expect a change to the age limit until the 2022 NBA Draft at the earliest.

Assuming the 2022 NBA Draft allows high school players to jump directly to the NBA, players entering their freshman year of high school this fall will be the first ones to benefit from this potential rule change.

As for any trades that could be affected by this, no team has as yet traded an unprotected 2022 first-rounder, and the only one that could potentially change hands at this point was sent by the Mavericks to the Hawks in order to move up in this year’s draft and select Luka Doncic.

It will be interesting to see whether teams will be wary of trading draft picks in 2022 and beyond before a final ruling is made on this issue.

Here are a few more odds and ends from around the NBA:

  • In a Q&A piece for ESPN, several different writers spoke about who they believed to be the standouts and disappointments from this year’s NBA Summer League. Wendell Carter, Kevin Knox, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, and Deandre Ayton were among the rookies recognized, while John Collins and Josh Hart were two players who were mentioned as probably too good to have even played in this year’s summer league.
  • In an interview with TMZ Sports, former NBA player Roy Hibbert says that he is done playing professional basketball, explaining that “It’s just time to move on.” Hibbert, 31, was named an All-Star as recently as 2014, but saw his impact dwindle over his last few years in the league as he got older and the game got smaller and quicker.
  • French forward Axel Toupane, who appeared in 25 total NBA regular season games in 2016 and 2017, has signed with EuroLeague club Olympiacos B.C. after helping lead Zalgiris Kaunas to the EuroLeague Final Four last season, reports Emiliano Carchia of Sportando.

And-Ones: Blatt, Trade Details, Toupane

After interviewing for multiple NBA head coaching jobs this offseason, David Blatt has reached an agreement that will keep him in Europe. As Orazio Cauchi of Sportando relays, Blatt has signed a two-year contract to coach Greek powerhouse Olympiacos.

The former head coach of the Cavaliers, Blatt has spent most of his career overseas. Over the last two seasons he served as the head coach for Turkish team Darussafaka, and prior to his stint in Cleveland, he coached Maccabi Tel Aviv in Israel. Now, Blatt – who met with the Bucks and Knicks this spring before they hired Mike Budenholzer and David Fizdale, respectively – will continue his coaching career in Greece.

Here are a few more odds and ends from across the NBA:

  • Eric Pincus of Basketball Insiders has the details on a couple trades that went down on draft night, reporting that the Rockets bought the No. 52 overall pick from the Jazz for $1.5MM and the Trail Blazers sent the Kings $1.5MM in their deal for Gary Trent Jr.‘s draft rights (Twitter links).
  • Axel Toupane, who appeared in 25 total NBA regular season games in 2016 and 2017, is working out privately for NBA clubs this week, reports Shams Charania of Yahoo Sports (Twitter link). A 6’7″ wing, Toupane played for Zalgiris Kaunas in 2017/18, helping lead the Lithuanian club to a spot in the EuroLeague Final Four.
  • In an excellent breakdown for, Bobby Marks previews the coming offseason for all 30 teams, detailing each club’s key decisions and cap situation.

Axel Toupane Will Play In Lithuania

Axel Toupane, who was waived Tuesday by the Pelicans, has signed with Zalgiris Kaunas in Lithuania, according to Dario Destri of Sportando.

The 6’7″ swingman agreed to a non-guaranteed minimum salary deal with New Orleans late last season and appeared in two games with the Pelicans. He also played two games for the Bucks on a 10-day contract in February. Toupane spent most of the season with Raptors 905, Toronto’s affiliate in the G League.

Tuesday was a salary guarantee date for Toupane, whose partial guarantee would have risen from $25K to $200K if he had been kept on the Pelicans’ roster.

Pelicans Waive Quinn Cook, Axel Toupane

11:55am: Bobby Marks of ESPN suggests that Toupane also had a partial guarantee on his contract that would have increased from $25K to $200K if he hadn’t been cut today. By waiving both Toupane and Cook, the Pelicans will carry a total of $50K in dead money for the duo — that figure would’ve increased to $300K after today.

11:12am: The Pelicans have reduced their offseason roster by two players, announcing today in a press release that they’ve waived guard Quinn Cook and swingman Axel Toupane. Cook and Toupane will become unrestricted free agents later this week if and when they clears waivers.

Both Cook and Toupane had been on non-guaranteed minimum salary contracts in New Orleans. According to Basketball Insiders’ data, Cook’s salary became partially guaranteed for $25K earlier this month, and would have become guaranteed for another $75K if he had remained on the roster through July 25. As for Toupane, his deal was fully non-guaranteed until January.

Cook and Toupane both signed contracts with the Pelicans during the final days of the 2016/17 season, allowing the franchise to get a look at both players down the stretch and over the summer before making a determination on their status. Apparently, New Orleans decided that neither youngster was in the team’s 2017/18 plans. The Pelicans still have one player – Jordan Crawford – on a non-guaranteed contract.

Having played well in the G League over the last couple years, Cook and Toupane should be candidates for training camp invites or two-way contracts from other NBA teams once they clear waivers.

NBADL Announces All-NBA D-League Teams

The NBA Development League has announced its All-NBA D-League teams for the 2016/17 season, headlined by league MVP Vander Blue. While Blue didn’t play in the NBA at all this season, many of the players on the NBADL’s three All-NBA D-League squads received call-ups throughout the year, and some of them finished the season on an NBA roster.

Here are this year’s 15 All-NBA D-League players, many of whom will have a decent chance of finding their way onto an NBA roster next season:

First Team:

Second Team:

Third Team:

Pelicans Sign Axel Toupane

APRIL 10, 2:31pm: The Pelicans have officially signed Toupane for the rest of the season, the team announced today in a press release. While there’s no indication in the club’s announcement that Toupane’s deal is for more than one year, RealGM’s transactions log suggests it’s a multiyear pact. That makes sense, since contracts signed at this time of year typically included a non-guaranteed second season.

APRIL 8, 11:19am: The Pelicans are signing forward Axel Toupane, currently of the D-League, tweets Shams Charania of The Vertical.

The 24-year-old forward had previously signed a 10-day contract with the Bucks in February, but after two games of action was released so that the team could make room for Terrence Jones.

Last season, Toupane played 21 games for the Nuggets and averaged 3.6 points per game.

NBA D-League Assignments/Recalls: 4/10/17

Here are Monday’s D-League assignments and recalls from around the NBA:


  • The Rockets have sent rookie forward Kyle Wiltjer back to the D-League, the team announced today (via Twitter). As noted below, Wiltjer was recalled to Houston earlier today, but it appears it was just for practice purposes. By rejoining the Rio Grande Valley Vipers, Wiltjer will get a chance to play in the team’s playoff game tonight against the L.A. D-Fenders.
  • According to RealGM’s transactions log, the Celtics have assigned Jordan Mickey to the Maine Red Claws, the Lakers have assigned David Nwaba to the L.A. D-Fenders, and the Pelicans have sent Axel Toupane to the Raptors 905. Mickey and Nwaba will be in action tonight, while Toupane’s team is awaiting the winner of the Maine/Fort Wayne series.


  • The Cavaliers have recalled rookie guard Kay Felder from the D-League, the team announced today in a press release. The Canton Charge’s season came to an end over the weekend, so Felder would’ve likely been back with the Cavs either way, but it’s worth noting that he could see some action for Cleveland tonight, with Kyrie Irving and LeBron James among the regulars expected to rest.
  • The Rockets have recalled forward Kyle Wiltjer from the Rio Grande Valley Vipers, according to the team (Twitter link). Houston has the No. 3 seed in the West locked up, so Wiltjer could get some playing time this week if regulars rest. However, if he remains with the Rockets through tonight, the rookie sharpshooter would miss the Vipers’ deciding first-round game against the Los Angeles D-Fenders in the D-League playoffs.

Bucks Release Toupane, Formally Sign Jones

The Bucks have officially signed forward Terrence Jones and released Axel Toupane from his 10-day contract, the team reports in a press release on its website. Milwaukee’s roster now sits once again at 15.

Toupane, whose 10-day deal was set to expire today anyway, will presumably return to the Raptors 905 of the D-League as Chris Reichert of The Step Back speculated earlier today. He saw action in two games with the Bucks during his NBA stint but had a negligible impact in the 6 minutes he saw on the floor.

In Jones the Bucks get an intriguing 25-year-old big man who’s flashed potential with both the Rockets and Pelicans previously. Jones averaged 11.5 points and 5.9 rebounds per game in 51 games with New Orleans this season but was released when the club added DeMarcus Cousins.

Jones – who has been signed for the remainder of the season – will wear No. 6 for the Bucks, according to the press release.

Bucks Sign Axel Toupane To 10-Day Deal

February 25: The Bucks formally signed Toupane this afternoon, the team announced via a press release on their official website. Their roster is now full at 15.

February 23: The Bucks will sign small forward Axel Toupane to a 10-day contract, tweets Chris Reichert of The Step Back.

Toupane has been playing for Toronto’s affiliate in the D-League, where he is averaging 16.1 points and 3.9 rebounds through 27 games. His only NBA experience came in 21 games for the Nuggets last season.

Milwaukee has a roster spot open after trading center Roy Hibbert to Denver earlier today. The Bucks received a protected 2019 pick in the deal.

Players Catch On With D-League Franchises

Several players who were recently waived out of the NBA have reached agreements with D-League teams, according to Chris Reichert of The Step Back:

  • Spencer Dinwiddie, released on Friday by Chicago, has signed with the Windy City Bulls (Twitter link). Chicago, which acquired Dinwiddie in a deal with the Pistons, then waived and later re-signed him, parted ways with the guard again despite being at the roster limit of 15.
  • Johnny O’Bryant, who was waived by the Wizards on Friday, has signed a D-League contract and will be eligible for the draft (Twitter link). The 23-year-old power forward spent the past two seasons with the Bucks.
  • Vince Hunter, who was waived by the Bulls and Grizzlies this month, will return to the Reno Bighorns (Twitter link). Hunter, 22, is a 6’8″ forward out of Texas-El Paso who has yet to play in the NBA.
  • Cliff Alexander, who was released by the Magic, has signed with the Erie BayHawks (Twitter link). The 20-year-old power forward played eight games for the Trail Blazers last season.
  • Chris Douglas-Roberts will return to the Texas Legends, where he finished the 2015/16 season (Twitter link). The 29-year-old swingman last played in the NBA in 2014/15, when he spent 12 games with the Clippers.
  • Josh Childress, who has been out of the NBA for almost three full seasons, signed with the Texas Legends (Twitter link). The 33-year-old swingman’s last NBA experience was four games with New Orleans during the 2013/14 season. He finished last season with the Legends after playing in Australia. (Update: Report denied by Childress’ agent; Reichert has removed his tweet)

Also, from the D-League Digest:

  • Axel Toupane, who was waived by the Nuggets, will return to Raptors 905 (Twitter link). The 6’7″ small forward played 21 games for Denver last season.
  • Jarell Eddie, who was released by the Wizards on Friday, will return to the Austin Spurs (Twitter link). Eddie, 24, appeared in 26 games for Washington a year ago.
  • J.J. O’Brien, who was cut by the Bucks, has signed with the Salt Lake City Stars (Twitter link). A 24-year-old small forward, he got into two games with the Jazz last season.
  • Egidijus Mockevicius, who was waived last week by Brooklyn, will play for the Long Island Nets (Twitter link). The 24-year-old Lithuanian forward has no NBA experience.
  • Veteran point guard Jannero Pargo has signed with Oklahoma City Blue (Twitter link). The 37-year-old last played for the Hornets in 2014/15.