With the impending return of Ja Morant on Dec. 19, the Memphis Grizzlies needed to clear a roster spot for their star point guard. On Sunday, Damichael Cole of The Commercial Appeal reported that the Grizzlies are releasing power forward Kenneth Lofton Jr. for the corresponding move.
Lofton, 21, has appeared in 15 games for the Grizzlies this season and has only played more than 10 minutes in just five of them, averaging 2.6 points and just one rebound. The reigning G-League Rookie of the Year is a skilled offensive big man, who, with some more seasoning in the G-League and getting control of his weight– can become a solid rotational backup center. When he gets his chances, Lofton isn’t afraid to put shots up.
Should the Wolves take a flier on the skilled big man? I say no for obvious reasons. There are currently four centers on the roster, so why bring on another one given how tight the finances are, especially for a player who will spend most of their time playing in Iowa? The Wolves also do not have a Two-Way or an Exhibit 10 contract to give out. If the Wolves were ever in need of another center (knock on wood), there are plenty of free-agent centers for them to sign that also have playoff experience.
I’m not saying that Lofton wouldn’t be a good fit on this team because I think he could. The Wolves love to play out of the half-court and that is where Lofton excels as a scorer and part of the reason why Memphis released him. There simply is not much room for him on this roster.
Lofton should garner plenty of interest from other teams around the league and he shouldn’t have to wait too long before finding a new home.