Did Ja Morant’s NBA return reportedly trigger Grizzlies to release Kenneth Lofton Jr?

Kenneth Lofton Jr., a promising NBA talent, has been steadily climbing the ladder of success since his 2022 draft with the Memphis Grizzlies. The deal also had Kenneth playing in the G League for the Memphis Hustle, but he has seen limited on-court minutes for the Grizzlies in his career so far.

Following the massive return of superstar Ja Morant from a 25-game ban, Kenneth’s future with the franchise has been thrown into serious doubt. Many believe that Kenneth is likely to change jerseys.

Kenneth Lofton Jr reportedly waived by Grizzlies

Following the news of Ja Morant finally making a court return soon, there are reports that the Memphis Grizzlies center Kenneth Lofton, could be waived by the franchise. Reports have it that Kenneth’s would waived by the Grizzlies. While Damichael Cole affirms, “The Grizzlies are parting ways with Kenneth Lofton Jr.”

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Kenneth Lofton is a promising basketball talent and has earned remarkable achievements in the league. On 31 March 2023, Kenneth Lofton was honored with the NBA G League Rookie of the Year award. Looking at Kenneth’s talents, the young star is highly tipped by many to generate high interest from other teams in the NBA.bLofton, after his College basketball for Louisiana Tech, joined the Memphis Grizzlies and also played in the G league for the Memphis Hustle.

This season, Kenneth in 15 matchups, has averaged 2.6 points, 1.0 rebounds, and 0.9 assists in 6.6 minutes per outing while shooting 37.8% from the field and 30.0% from the 3-point range. Considering the promising outputs of Kenneth Lofton, there are high projections that the young man could be playing in another top team soon, with the possibility of adding more achievements to his profile.

Is Ja Morant’s comeback the reason for Kenneth Lofton Jr’s release?

Ja Morant is looming for a return to the court, which could be a massive boost for the team, especially about the current poor season run of the Grizzlies. However, for Ja Morant to be adequately accommodated in the roster, the team must release someone, which happens to be Kenneth Lofton Jr.

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Per reports by team writer Cole, Kenneth Lofton is the man to go to make room for Ja Morant. With the franchise having an additional player over the roster limit, Kenneth is the player who will be moved on from the team. Cole stated, “The Grizzlies are expected to part ways with Kenneth Lofton Jr. as a result of the roster crunch with Ja Morant returning from suspension, per source.”

Additionally, the Grizzlies now have 16 players on their roster after signing Bismack Biyombo’s suspension exemption and will have to create a vacancy for the returning Ja Morant before December  19. Nevertheless, Lofton, after only managing limited on-court minutes for the Grizzlies, has maintained a decent play, but the team now feels his play isn’t needed anymore.

Meanwhile, the Grizzlies, have struggled without Ja Morant on the court. The team is ranked 13th in the Western Conference with a poor 6-18 record in their first 24 matchups. Inclusively, the team has gone 3-7 over their last 10 games and is currently in the middle of a 4-game losing streak. After the recent loss against the Rockets by a score of 103-96 at home, there seems to be a huge hope as Ja Morant is returning against the New Orleans Pelicans on 19 December.

Shariare Hasib

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Shariare Hasib is an NBA Editor at SportsKnot. With a master's degree in journalism from a prestigious university, Shariare started writing about the sport during his undergraduate years. Since then, he has been fascinated by LeBron James' lasting impact as well as Stephen Curry's incredible consistency. He specializes in live basketball coverage. Apart from reporting on trade speculations and match updates during off-season activities, Shariare frequently interacts with fan communities to stay abreast of the constantly evolving NBA scene.


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