Thunder Acquire Joffrey Lauvergne

OKC sends two 2nd Rounders to Denver

In a bit of a surprising move here on Tuesday afternoon, the Oklahoma City Thunder has acquired Power Forward/Center, Joffrey Lauvergne, from the Denver Nuggets. The Thunder sent two second round picks to Denver in exchange for the 6'11 Frenchman, solidifying the bigs in the absence of Serge Ibaka. The deal was first reported by Adrian Wojnarowski of The Vertical.

While casual fans may not be familiar with “King Joffrey” and his game, snagging the 24-year-old out of a crowded Denver front court is a strong play for the Thunder. Lauvergne is coming off a 2015–16 campaign that saw him put up 7.9 points and 4.9 rebounds per game in only 17.6 minutes per contest. When those numbers are extrapolated out to 36 minutes, his stat line really begins to pop. His per-36 numbers of 16.1 points and 10 rebounds per game is a look into what he might be capable of as he develops. We all know GM Sam Presti likes to think/plan ahead.

While the Thunder front court currently boasts players such as Steven Adams, Enes Kanter, Ersan Ilyasova and Domantas Sabonis, trading for Lauvergne could possibly mean a couple different things.

  1. This is simply a move to add a talented player to the mix, affording Sabonis time to adjust to the NBA game and not be thrust into meaningful minutes immediately.
  2. Someone’s time is done in OKC.

It appears as though ESPN’s Royce Young is prepared for the latter, as he had this to say about troubled big man, Mitch McGary:

Time will tell what Presti’s plan is, but it’s apparent he’s still looking to boost an OKC roster that is loaded with young talent. Joffrey Lauvergne might not be considered a splashy move by all fans, but his tremendous upside is something to be excited about. I really, really like this move.