Sixers news

Sixers signing the unique Kenneth Lofton Jr. to two-way contract 

Lofton was waived earlier this week by Memphis.

NBC Universal, Inc.

The Sixers signed Kenneth Lofton Jr. to a two-way contract and waived 24-year-old guard Javonte Smart, the team announced Saturday.

Sixers president of basketball operations Daryl Morey tweeted his customary welcome message.

With Ja Morant returning from suspension, the Grizzlies waived Lofton on Monday.

There’s no player in the NBA quite like the 21-year-old lefty out of Louisiana Tech. He’s a powerful, skillful post-up and isolation scorer. Lofton can knock taller players off balance, and he finds openings for himself with tricky footwork, fakes and spins.

Early this month, Lofton told The Commercial Appeal’s Damichael Cole that he had lost close to 20 pounds over the past three weeks. The Grizzlies listed Lofton at 6-foot-6, 275 pounds, though Cole wrote Lofton was “believed to be heavier than that ahead of the season.” 

To become an NBA regular, Lofton will need to prove he can be adequate defensively despite being neither a natural rim protector nor an agile perimeter defender. 

Lofton played just 275 minutes across 39 games over the past two seasons with the Grizzlies. A sizable chunk of that production came in last year’s regular-season finale, where Lofton posted 42 points and 14 rebounds. 

He earned G League Rookie of the Year last season, averaging 22.3 points, 10.1 rebounds and 3.6 assists for the Memphis Hustle.

The Sixers’ other two players under two-way contracts are rookie guards Terquavion Smith and Ricky Council IV. 

Council has averaged 24.3 points and 5.3 rebounds with the Delaware Blue Coats in the G League. He’s also shot 39.8 percent from three-point range on 6.4 attempts per game, which was a major focus for him entering the season.

Playing a high-minutes sixth man role in Delaware, Smith has recorded 20.9 points, 3.3 rebounds and 2.6 assists per game. He’s taken nearly 10 three-pointers per contest and made 33.1 percent of them. 

Contact Us