The Denver Nuggets guard Evan Fournier will have to wait at least another year to reunite with his cousin Joffrey Lauvergne in a Nuggets uniform. Lauvergne a 6 foot 11 inch forward from France who was drafted 55th overall to the Memphis Grizzlies, and since had has rights traded to the Nuggets, signed a two-year contract to stay overseas and play for Russian league team BC Khimki.
There had been a small glimmer of hope that Lauvergne would be joining the Nuggets to fill out its bench. Nuggs general manager Tim Connelly has continually expressed his pleasure with the young forwards growth throughout last season.
In 24 games last season for the Partizan basketball league which competes in the Serbian League and Euroleague Lauvergne averaged 11.1 points and 8.6 rebounds per game while shooting 51 percent from the floor.
According to the official page of Khimki:
Pavel Astakhov, BC Khimki General manager:
– Lauvergne is one of the most progressing centers of Europe who was interested by leading European clubs as well as NBA teams. So we are particularly pleased that the player has accepted our proposal. Last season he showed very confident game not only in the Serbian championship, but also in the Euroleague, where he became the best rebounder on the results of the tournament. We hope that Joffrey will grow as a player and bring the maximum benefit to our club. We will work together to achieve our goals.
Rimas Kurtinaitis, BC Khimki head coach:
– We signed an agreement with a very young and promising player, who was the leader in rebounding in the Euroleague last seasn. We had some problems on rebounding and with the Lauvergne’s come we hope to improve our game under the hoop. He is an aggressive, energetic and uncompromising basketball player who performs well in the offense: last season he grabbed three offensive rebounds on average, that is a very serious figure. I believe that he has good prospects to become a player of a top level.
According to Denver Stiffs Nate Timmons
Lauvergne’s contract with Khimki does have an NBA buyout after the first season, according to league sources. That is good news for the Nuggets as he’ll get another year of seasoning before the team can attempt to bring him to the NBA.
In the NBA you can never have enough size, however it is telling that Lauvergne continues to stay overseas. I’m not sure if we will ever see him in a Nuggets uniform, but with all the injuries last year I can say I was looking forward to seeing him. On the other hand staying in Europe will allow Lauvergne to continue to develop his game and become a contributor right away if he decideds to bring his talents to the NBA.
Let me know in the comment section Nuggets fans, bummed or who cares?