Joffrey Lauvergne signed a two-year deal with Khimki Moscow.
The French big man comes from Partizan Belgrade who got a buyout from the Russian powerhouse.
Lauvergne averaged 11.1 points and 8.6 rebounds per game in Euroleague this season.
There was hope that the Nuggets would be bringing King Joffrey over this off-season, no word yet on whether or not he has an NBA buyout option that Tim Connelly and Co. can utilize. Lauvergne won't be at Summer League in Las Vegas with the Nuggets as he'll likely be playing with the French National team again this summer.
From the Khimki official team page on the signing:
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.
It's not looking too good that we'll see Joffrey in a Nuggets uniform any time soon. Joffrey is 22 years old and will turn 23 in September. If he plays out his contract in Russia, he'll be 25 years old (Kevin Love's current age) by the time he comes to Denver. That's still pretty young, but learning the NBA will also take a little time.
Update 11:00 am MT:
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.