Grizzlies make major roster decision ahead of Ja Morant's return

Apr 7, 2023; Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA; Memphis Grizzlies guard Ja Morant (12) brings the ball down
Apr 7, 2023; Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA; Memphis Grizzlies guard Ja Morant (12) brings the ball down / Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports

The return of superstar Ja Morant should get every member and faithful follower of the Memphis Grizzlies organization excited, as his inclusion within coach Taylor Jenkins' rotation is hoped to be the type of boost that could get this struggling 6-18 team on the road to redemption and back in the mix for their fourth-consecutive playoff berth.

However, in order for the guard to be eligible to make his way back to the active roster, aside from serving out his full 25-game suspension the ball club must trim their active crop of participants down to 15 to make room for his arrival.

In a somewhat surprising move, Sunday evening the Grizzlies made their decision on how to go about cutting down the roster as they plan to waive tweener big, Kenneth Lofton Jr., as per Damichael Cole of the Commercial Appeal.

Memphis Grizzlies expected to waive sophomore big Kenneth Lofton Jr.

Though a popular belief was that the Grizzlies could consider parting ways with veteran Bismack Biyombo in an effort to create roster room for Morant, as he was added to the team via a suspension exemption granted due to the guard's absence, due to his impressive production serving as a regular starter and a consistent contributor within the rotation it seems the franchise is more comfortable splitting with their underutilized sophomore forward instead.

Despite his inconsistent playing time as a member of the Grizzlies, Lofton flashed serious potential of becoming a solid front-court contributor throughout his tenure in the 38103, particularly during the final 11 games of his rookie campaign in 2022-23 where he averaged 8.7 points, 3.9 rebounds, and 1.1 assists on 57.4 percent shooting from the field and 41.7 percent shooting from deep while, during the season finale, he dropped a whopping 42 points and 14 boards on 68 percent shooting.

Though his stature of 6-foot-7, 276 pounds may not be all that coveted for a power forward-center hybrid, his particular set of skills, especially on the offensive side of the ball, certainly are as he has impressive footwork, a surprisingly quick burst, and a sound shooting stroke attached to his game and, with the proper development team, he could wind up becoming a solid role player in the association.

As a whole, the 21-year-old likely will be heading to waivers with career averages of 4.1 points and 1.7 rebounds on 48.5 percent shooting.