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New Orleans Pelicans signing Axel Toupane, a potential 3-and-D wing out of the D-League

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Look out, Dell Demps is hoarding talent this weekend!

NBA: Denver Nuggets-Media Day Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

The New Orleans Pelicans are reportedly signing Axel Toupane, another player fresh out of the D-League today. During the 2016-17 season, he averaged 16.1 points, 4.1 rebounds and 3.6 assists in 27.6 minutes per contest. Following the end of his rookie campaign a year earlier, he was named the recipient of the D-League’s Most Improved Player Award.

According to Chris Reichert, the 24-year-old small forward has shown signs this season of becoming a viable 3-and-D wing.

Clearly he’s an enticing prospect for NBA teams and one of his quality traits also comes at a price. Toupane can handle the ball, and run an offense, pretty well for a forward, but he tends to turn the ball over a lot (17.21 turnover rate) far too often. His 3-point shooting has improved to a respectable 34.6 percent and his scoring efficiency across the board has gone up as well. Coach Stackhouse has his guys fully bought in and if they win a Championship this year, Toupane will play a pivotal role.

In the Raptors 905 first game of the 2016-17 playoffs this past Wednesday, Toupane went off for a career-high 41 points.

Toupane has accumulated some NBA experience, playing for both Denver and Milwaukee the last few years. He appeared in just six minutes on a 10-day contract for the Bucks, but managed to see 311 minutes last season for the Nuggets. Despite the sizable amount of playing time, his per 36 minutes statistics were not so newsworthy: 9.0 points, 3.7 rebounds and 1.8 assists to go along with lowly shooting percentages across the board.

With today’s news, one can probably pencil in Toupane’s name alongside Quinn Cook’s as a participant on the Pelicans Las Vegas summer team in about three months time. Plus, with the introduction of two-way contracts next season — where NBA teams will be able to exceed 15-man rosters with two additional developmental players on hybrid contracts — Toupane and Cook could get the inside track on earning these new deals at some point not too far off into the future.