Sixers sign former G-League Rookie of the Year

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Nba Sixers
Memphis Grizzlies forward Kenneth Lofton Jr., center, pulls down a rebound as Philadelphia 76ers center Filip Petrusev (33) defends in the second half during an NBA Summer League basketball game Monday, July 3, 2023, in Salt Lake City. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)

The Philadelphia 76ers made a roster move on Saturday, December 23rd, but not in the form of a trade. Former Memphis Grizzlies big man, and fan favorite, Kenneth Lofton Jr. Has agreed on a two way deal with the Sixers after recently being waived by the Grizzlies in order to bring Ja Morant back onto the active roster.

Who is the Sixers’ latest addition?

Lofton, who played 2 seasons for the Louisiana Tech Bulldogs, had a successful stint in Memphis. While the center never really got to crack the rotation for the Grizzlies, he was excellent for the Memphis Hustle, taking home G-League Rookie of the Year for the 2022-2023 season. Last year in the G-League, he averaged 20.2 points, and 10.5 rebounds per game on 53.9% from the field.

In the NBA, he has only appeared in 39 games, starting in one of them. While his NBA stats are not incredible, Lofton’s lone start was the source of nearly all of the fame and all of the hype for Lofton.

The big man got the start at the end of last season for the Grizzlies, in the final game of their regular season. With the playoffs days away, the Grizzlies faced off against the Thunder with a roster full of players resting.

Lofton responded in a big way, dominating the paint to the tune of 42 points and 14 rebounds in a 115-100 loss for the Grizzlies. He is the first, and only player to record 40+ points and 10+ rebounds in his first NBA start.

With the addition of Kenneth Lofton Jr. the Sixers had to release one of their current two-way players. Javonte Smart, who had been having a solid season for the Sixers G-League affiliate, the Delaware Blue Coats, was waived to make space for Kenneth Lofton Jr. Smart will most likely remain with the Blue Coats unless another NBA team offers him a new two-way contract.