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Grizzlies sign Lofton to bolster front-court depth

Kenneth Lofton Jr. Memphis Grizzlies Kenneth Lofton Jr. - The Canadian Press

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) — The Memphis Grizzlies signed forward/center Kenneth Lofton Jr. to a multiyear contract on Saturday to bolster their front-court depth in the absence of Brandon Clarke, who suffered a season-ending torn left Achilles tendon in early March.

The Grizzlies also signed guard Jacob Gilyard to a two-way contract and waived guard Kennedy Chandler.

Memphis has wrapped up the No. 2 seed in the Western Conference for the second straight season.

Lofton was named the 2022-23 NBA G League Rookie of the Year after averaging 20.2 points, 10.4 rebounds and 3.9 assists in 17 games, including 15 starts, for the Memphis Hustle. The 20-year-old, who originally signed a two-way contract on July 1 following his sophomore year at Louisiana Tech, has made 23 appearances as a reserve for the Grizzlies, averaging 3.4 points and 1.6 rebounds.

Gilyard started 25 of the 31 regular-season games he played in for the Hustle this season and averaged a league-leading 9.6 assists as well as 8.3 points and 2.8 rebounds. He had double-digit assists 22 times and posted eight double-doubles.

Chandler played in 36 games as a reserve this season. He was the 38th overall pick in the 2022 draft following his freshman season at Tennessee.


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