Journeyman Augustin settling into new role

Steve Helwick

Nothing is permanent.

D.J. Augustin has learned this lesson in his eight-year NBA career.

When Augustin was traded from the Oklahoma City Thunder to the Denver Nuggets on Feb. 18, he switched teams in the middle of the year for the third-consecutive NBA season. The Nuggets are now the journeyman’s fifth different team since the 2013–14 season tipped off.

“It’s been rough, but it’s part of the game,” Augustin told The Denver Post after his first game in Denver.

The Charlotte Bobcats drafted Augustin in 2008 after two seasons of playing at Texas. He developed into a starting point guard for Charlotte after two seasons, averaging 10.9 points per game during his four-year tenure with the team.

This has been his longest tenure with any team in the NBA.

Augustin began to test free agency, landing a year in Indiana in 2012. He signed with the Toronto Raptors in 2013 after a down-year featuring reduced statistical averages in points, rebounds and assists. Five months later, in the middle of the season, he was waived and continued his career as a Chicago Bull.

Since leaving Charlotte, Augustin has primarily contributed to teams as a backup point guard, coming off the bench to provide a scoring spark to the second unit. The greatest success Augustin has seen at this role was during his tenure with the Bulls, where he averaged 14.9 points and five assists per game.

A reserve point guard who provides a decent scoring ability, Augustin is a popular trade asset. The Pistons used him to acquire their current leading scorer, Reggie Jackson, from the Thunder, who sent him to Denver to acquire shooting guard Randy Foye.

Although a playoff appearance is not likely for Augustin after departing from Oklahoma City, he has attained individual success with increased minutes in Denver. Through five games with the Nuggets, he is averaging 10.8 points and 3.8 assists.

“What I do like about D.J. is he’s been around the NBA long enough where I think he has a [good] IQ and will pick things up fairly quickly,” first-year Denver coach Mike Malone told The Denver Post. “We do a lot of the same things that he did in Chicago with Tom Thibodeau.”

Coming off season-highs of 36 minutes and 20 points in the Nuggets’ latest defeat, Augustin has already adjusted to playing with his seventh team. The 28-year old will be a free agent at the conclusion of the season, so the future remains unpredictable for Augustin.