Nuggets guard Evan Fournier familiar with Joffrey Lauvergne

Both Denver players hope to play for French national team this summer
by Aaron Lopez

As Evan Fournier prepared for a workout on the Denver Nuggets practice court, he offered a quick scouting report on countryman Joffrey Lauvergne.

“Hard worker,” Fournier said Friday. “He’s a beast, man. He’s strong and he’s very athletic. That’s definitely a good pick.”

Fournier, selected by the Nuggets with the 20th overall pick in 2012, attended the INSEP Academy in Paris together as teenagers, and they were teammates on the French junior national team in 2011. They also were competitors while playing in the top pro league in France from 2010-12.

Having acquired the 55th overall pick in a draft-night trade with Memphis, the Nuggets could afford to take a chance on Lauvergne, a 21-year-old power forward.

At 6-foot-11, 240 pounds, he has good mobility and gradually improving shooting range. Scouts also say he runs the floor well and likes to crash the boards, something that could eventually translate well in Denver.

Lauvergne most recently played for Partizan Belgrade of the Serbia A league, where he averaged 10.6 points and 6.1 rebounds in eight games.

Before joining Partizan, he also played for Elan Chalon of the France Pro A league and for Valencia of the Spanish ABC league.

If all goes well, he and Fournier will reunite as members of the French national team this summer.