Nuggets prospect Joffrey Lauvergne proving to be a winner overseas

Denver holds rights to 22-year-old center from France
by Aaron Lopez

It’s been quite a year for Denver Nuggets prospect Joffrey Lauvergne.

After winning a gold medal with France at EuroBasket 2013, the 22-year-old center helped his professional team Partizan Belgrade capture the Serbian Superleague title over the weekend.

Lauvergne was selected 55th overall by Memphis in last year’s NBA Draft. The Nuggets acquired his rights, along with forward Darrell Arthur, as part of a draft-night trade that sent Kosta Koufos to the Grizzlies.

Lauvergne averaged 11.1 points and a league-best 8.6 rebounds for Partizan in 24 Euroleague games last season. His numbers were similar in Superleague play as he averaged 10.8 points and 7.3 rebounds while serving as the first foreign captain in Partizan’s history.

Members of Denver's front office traveled to Europe several times during the season to watch Lauvergne play, and they’ve been pleased with his progress.

“We’re very happy for Joffrey as he continues to develop into the type of player we envisioned when we acquired his rights,” Nuggets assistant general manager Arturas Karnisovas said. “We feel he’s only going to get better with more experience.”

The Nuggets hold Lauvergne’s exclusive rights if he opts to leave Europe to play in the NBA.