It's hard to believe that the Philadelphia 76ers had an overabundance of centers in the offseason to have just three before their most recent signing. According to Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN, the club waived two-way player Javonte Smart to make room for a new center.
On the surface, this may not seem like a big deal but the Sixers just signed a big man to help solidify their center depth chart for the rest of the season.
Philadelphia 76ers solidify center depth by signing Kenneth Lofton Jr. to a two-way deal.
Before signing with the 76ers, Lofton played last year and this year with the Memphis Grizzlies. During his rookie season, he was on a two-way contract after going undrafted and played for Memphis' G-League team the Memphis Hustle.
With the Hustle during the G-League regular season, the big man averaged 20.2 points, 10.5 rebounds, 3.9 assists, and 1.2 steals while shooting 53.9 percent from the field and 25.0 percent from the assists 3-point line. His impressive production earned him All-G League honors, All-Rookie G-League honors, and the G-League Rooke of the Year award.
That turned into a regular contract with the Grizzlies this offseason. With the Grizzlies this season Lofton averaged 2.6 points and 1.0 rebounds per game while shooting just 37.8 percent from the point line.
Lofton is only listed at 6-foot-7 which is undersized at the center position, but his 275 lbs frame allows him to play the center position. Offensively, Lofton is a real talent on offense with his physicality and his footwork. However, the reason why he's not in a regular rotation is the questions about his defense and conditioning.
Lofton should be able to put up big numbers with Philly's G-League affiliate the Delaware Blue Coats. However, with a depth chart of reigning MVP Joel Embiid, Paul Reed, and Mo Bamba, Lofton probably won't see that much time on the Sixers.
Still despite no clear path for playing, signing Lofton was a smart move for the Philadelphia 76ers as they can see if they can develop the 21-year-old big man into an NBA rotation player. He can also spot minutes if injuries do occur.