By Johnny Askounis/ firstname.lastname@example.org
Axel Toupane penned a contract until the end of the 2023-24 season with Paris Basketball, the team announced Thursday.
Before committing long-term to the new addition to France’s Betclic LNB Pro A, he began the 2021-22 season producing 20.4 points, 7.6 assists, 1.6 steals, and 1.4 rebounds per G League contest with the Santa Cruz Warriors.
David Kahn, former Minnesota Timberwolves president, has been in charge of Paris Basketball since the creation of the club in 2018 aspiring to lead the team all the way to the Turkish Airlines EuroLeague so that the French capital can be represented in the premier European club competition. The team was promoted to the top division after three years in Pro B, the second-tier division of France. It is currently ranked 15th out of 18 teams behind a 5-9 Pro A record.
Toupane, 29, after departing SIG Strasbourg early in the 2020-21 season, signed a training camp deal with the Golden State Warriors but ended up at the affiliate G League team. Penning a two-way contract late in the season with the Milwaukee Bucks led him to contribute 1.6 points and 0.8 rebounds in the NBA championship run. Previous NBA stints the Denver Nuggets, New Orleans Pelicans, and Bucks between 2015-16 and 2016-17.
In 2015, the French swingman wrapped up his first tenure at Strasbourg helping the team win both the French Cup and Leaders Cup. Back to Europe following his first run in the NBA, he captured Lithuania’s LKL title as a member of Zalgiris.
“It’s a great opportunity for me to be one of the leaders of this great project by bringing my experience, background, and winning mentality,” he described his new job assignment at the team based in the French capital.
His new teammates include fellow former NBA player, Kyle O’Quinn.
Additional experience for Toupane stems from 24 caps at the senior level with the France national team including capturing the bronze medal in the 2019 FIBA World Cup, 70 games played in the EuroLeague between Strasbourg, Zalgiris, and Olympiacos, and 33 appearances in the 7DAYS EuroCup between Strasbourg and Unicaja.
He is expected to debut with Paris Basketball against Metropolitans 92 in a French League Regular Season Round 16 matchup scheduled to be held on January 15.
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