Earlier in the day yesterday, after they made it official that Steven Adams would not return to the court for the Playoffs, the Memphis Grizzlies had signed Kenneth Lofton Jr. on a four-year, $7 million total contract. The rookie, undrafted last year, had played 22 games so far with Memphis on a two-way contract, spending the rest of his time in the G-League with the Memphis Hustle. In the Development League, Lofton Jr had won Rookie of the Year, thanks to 20.2 points and 10.5 rebounds average.
Tonight the 2002 class boy played his first game after officially becoming an NBA player, and he certainly did not disappoint. The game counted for nothing for Memphis, already sure of second place in the West and therefore lacking, by choice, Ja Morant, Jaren Jackson Jr, Dillon Brooks, Luke Kennard, Desmond Bane and Tyus Jones. But Lofton Jr immediately showed what he is made of, making 42 points with 14 rebounds and shooting 17/25 from the field against the Oklahoma City Thunder.