@slamuniversity / Fraile (DR)
Not drafted this year, Kenneth lofton Jr. did not give up and signed a contract with Memphis. Good for him, as Victor Wembanyama’s rival in FIBA competition is making a great debut in the Summer League. The observers are under the spell!
While Victor Wembanyama is expected as the first pick of the 2023 draft, his big rivals on the US scene have had mixed fortunes. Chet Holmgren had the honor of being selected No. 2 this year, with the Thunder deciding to bet on him. On the other hand, Kenneth Lofton Jr. was not so lucky, not being retained among the 60 choices… His 16.5 points and more than 10 rebounds with the university of Lousiana Tech will not have been enough to convince the franchises.
However, this does not mean the end of the adventure for the colossus (2m01 for 130 kilos) sincehe managed to sign in the West, the Grizzlies offering him a two-way contract. A golden opportunity for the person concerned, who thus lands in an ambitious franchise and with a very young workforce. In order to justify the confidence of its leaders, it also participates in the summer league held in Salt Lake City. The beginnings are promising, the nugget having shone during the victory of his team against the Sixers (103-99), under the eyes of Ja Morant :
Kenneth Lofton Jr. shines in Summer League with Memphis
Kenneth Lofton Jr is a bucket 🔥 pic.twitter.com/Vpkza21a5i
— courtside PLUG (@courtsideplug) July 6, 2022
In total, the big man finished the game with 9 points on the clock at 4/5 shooting, accompanied by three rebounds. Nothing sparkling either, but remember that he only spent 15 minutes on the court. The yield is therefore rather encouraging, as is the visual impression left by the man. Dexterous in finishing and able to withstand rough contacts, he also demonstrated great creativity in getting rid of his opponents. What hyper observers, unsurprisingly:
Kenneth Lofton Jr gettin real ZBO buckets had me legit out of my flesh pic.twitter.com/u9ZWwPevuF
—Chris Vernon (@ChrisVernonShow) July 6, 2022
See Kenneth Lofton Jr. put hoops like that made me jump out of my seat
Now, it remains to be seen what his concrete role will be within the formation of Tennessee, in 2022-23. The Memphis racquet has some good elements like Jaren Jackson and Brandon Clarke, but the first in particular is quite fragile. If he can confirm the good impression of the moment, Lofton Jr. can therefore quite make his place in the roster of Taylor Jenkins. Otherwise, the G League could help him improve before moving on to the next level.
Kenneth Lofton Jr. is already igniting everyone in the Summer League, and we hope for him that he will be able to break through in the NBA. If he succeeds, the Grizzlies will hold there a potential X factor to accompany the phenomenon Ja Morant.