According to Jeff Zillgit of USA Today, Joffrey Lauvergne has been selected as one of the members of the French National Basketball Team who will compete at the olympics in August. France earned their bid to Rio earlier in the month when they defeated Canada in the finals of the Olympic Qualifying Tournament in the Phillipines.
France selects 12 players for men's Olympic team: Batum, Diaw, Gobert, Parker, Lauvergne on. No Fournier. pic.twitter.com/6UbPPdpxRU— Jeff Zillgitt (@JeffZillgitt) July 13, 2016
Lauvergne was a role player for France in the qualifiers. He averaged eight points and three rebounds a game and while it seemed likely he would make the Olympic roster, it certainly wasn't a sure thing. For the Denver Nuggets this means a second player on the roster will spend a large chunk of his offseason playing for his national team with Nikola Jokic also a lock to head to Rio with Serbia. Both Lauvergne and Jokic experienced a full 82 game NBA season for the first time last year so fatigue during the grind of the upcoming season will be something to watch. Former Nugget Evan Fournier was left off the roster as France opted for continuity. Fournier had declined to participate in the qualifiers because of his impending free agency but has since re-signed with the Orlando Magic.
France will be gunning for a medal at the 2016 Summer Olympics and they boast a talented squad with Lauvergne, Nicolas Batum, Rudy Gobert, Tony Parker, Boris Diaw and Euroleague sensation Nando de Colo. Nonetheless with the likes of Serbia, Lithuania, Spain and of course the United States looming, it'll be an uphill battle for Lauvergne and his compatriots to reach their goal. Still, Nuggets fans will at least get to watch two of their own compete in one of the greatest basketball tournaments that exists.