Memphis Grizzlies forward Kenneth Lofton among undrafted players shining in summer league

Memphis Grizzlies forward Kenneth Lofton Jr., center, pulls down a rebound as Philadelphia 76ers center Filip Petrusev (33) defends in the second half during an NBA Summer League basketball game Monday, July 3, 2023, in Salt Lake City. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)(AP/Rick Bowmer)

Memphis Grizzlies forward Kenneth Lofton Jr. is among several undrafted players making an impact in the Las Vegas summer league.

The former Louisiana Tech standout who was not selected in 2022 is averaging 20.7 points and 6.7 rebounds in three games while shooting 58% from the field.

Lofton uses his 6-foot-6, 275-pound frame to seemingly score at will. He was the G-League Rookie of the Year for the Memphis Hustle last season and later got his two-way contract converted into a regular deal. He took advantage of a call-up to the Grizzlies and had 42 points and 14 rebounds against the Oklahoma City Thunder in the team’s regular-season finale.

In Las Vegas, he scored 23 points against the Chicago Bulls in the Grizzlies’ opener on July 8 and had 24 points and 10 rebounds against the Los Angeles Clippers on Wednesday.

Other undrafted players who have stood out:

— Golden State guard Lester Quinones, undrafted out of Memphis in 2022, is the No. 3 scorer in Las Vegas with 24 points per game.

— Chicago guard Javon Freeman-Liberty, undrafted out of DePaul in 2022, is averaging 21.3 points, 5.0 assists and 4.3 rebounds per game.

— Minnesota guard Brandon Williams, who played college ball at Arizona and went undrafted in 2021, is averaging 21.3 points and 4.7 assists per game while shooting 54% from the field. He played for the G-League’s College Park Skyhawks last season.

— Portland guard Michael Devoe, undrafted out of Georgia Tech in 2022, scored 29 points to help the Trail Blazers defeat the San Antonio Spurs on Sunday. He is averaging 20.5 points and six assists per game while shooting 58% from the field.

— Los Angeles Clippers guard Xavier Moon, undrafted out of Morehead State in 2017, is averaging 20 points and shooting 61% from 3-point range on 4.7 attempts per game.


Craig Porter scored 22 points, Isaiah Mobley had a double-double and Cleveland remained unbeaten in NBA Summer League play with a victory over Chicago.

Porter added eight rebounds, six assists and three steals for the Cavaliers (4-0). Mobley finished with 18 points, 12 rebounds and four assists. Second-round pick Emoni Bates pitched in with 15 points and six boards.

The Cavaliers trailed 80-73 with 5:50 left to play. Mobley hit a 3-pointer and added two free throws with 1:21 remaining to put Cleveland up 84-83. Porter added a three-point play with just under a minute to play to complete the scoring.

Javon Freeman-Liberty had 18 points for the Bulls (2-2). Dalen Terry and second-round pick Julian Phillips scored 12 points apiece.

HAWKS 99, 76ERS 98

First-round pick Kobe Bufkin scored 11 of his 14 points in the fourth quarter, sinking a floater with 12.7 seconds remaining to lift Atlanta over Philadelphia.

Bufkin, chosen 15th overall, added seven assists for the Hawks (3-1). Second-round pick Seth Lundy totaled 16 points, eight rebounds and four assists, while fellow second-rounder Mouhamed Gueye pitched in with 10 points, eight boards and two blocks.

Atlanta trailed 75-68 entering the fourth quarter.

Jaden Springer made all 11 of his free throws, scoring 29 to lead the 76ers (1-2). Terquavion Smith scored 20.


Second-round pick Jalen Wilson scored four of his 17 points in overtime and Kennedy Chandler scored four of his 15 in the extra period to lead Brooklyn to a victory over Toronto.

Wilson and Chandler accounted for all of the Nets’ points in OT after the game was tied at 91 at the end of regulation. There is no clock in Summer League overtime games, instead the teams play to a target number, which was 98 in this match-up.

Chandler added eight rebounds, four steals and three assists for the Nets (2-1). Wilson grabbed seven boards. Armoni Brooks contributed 15 points, nine rebounds and four assists. First-round choice Noah Clowney scored six points on 2-of-9 shooting with five boards.

Ron Harper Jr. had 19 points for the Raptors (0-4). Joe Wieskamp scored 18. Top pick Gradey Dick — selected`13th overall — did not play.


Orlando Robinson scored 25 points, Jamal Cain added 24 and Miami breezed past Milwaukee.

Robinson and Cain both grabbed eight rebounds for the Heat (2-1). Robinson added four assists, while Cain handed out three. Miami’s top pick Jaime Jaquez Jr. — 18th overall — did not play.

Lindell Wigginton led the Bucks (2-2) with 15 points. Second-round pick Andre Jackson Jr started and had three points and seven rebounds. Chris Livingston — the last pick of the draft — scored five with seven rebounds in a start.


First-round pick Cam Whitmore had 26 points and eight steals, Trevor Hudgins added a double-double and unbeaten Houston cruised to a victory over winless Golden State.

Whitmore, chosen 20th overall, sank 11 of 21 shots with three 3-pointers for the Rockets (4-0). Hudgins finished with 23 points and 11 assists. Jermaine Samuels pitched in with 18 points, six rebounds, six assists, two steals and two blocks. Amen Thompson, the fourth overall pick, will see no further action for Houston after spraining his ankle in the opener.

Kendric Davis topped the Warriors (0-4) with 18 points. First-round pick Brandin Podziemski had 10 points and six assists in a start. Second-round pick Trayce Jackson-Davis also started, scoring 14 points and grabbing seven rebounds.


James Bouknight scored 28 points to lead Charlotte to a victory over New Orleans.

Bouknight sank four 3-pointers and grabbed seven rebounds for the Hornets (1-3). Charlotte sat No. 2 pick Brandon Miller. First-rounder Nick Smith Jr. had 12 points and four assists in a start. Second-round selection James Nnaji hit his only shot and had a game-high 12 rebounds. Bryce McGowens scored 19.

Dereon Seabron led the Pelicans (2-2) with 20 points. Jordan Hawkins, the No. 14 pick, started and had nine points and eight rebounds. He made just 2 of 13 shots, including 1 of 6 from beyond the arc.


Michael Devoe scored 18 points, Jabari Walker had a double-double and Portland beat winless Orlando.

Devoe hit a pair of 3-pointers and grabbed six rebounds for the Trail Blazers (3-1). Walker finished with 12 points and 10 boards. First-rounder Kris Murray added nine points in a start. Second-round pick Rayan Rupert had four points and a game-high 12 rebounds off the bench. The Trail Blazers shut down Scoot Henderson, the third overall pick this year, after he injured his shoulder in the opener.

Shaedon Sharp scored all of his 12 points in the first half to lead Portland to a 45-19 lead at intermission. Orlando shot 16% from the floor before halftime, making only 1 of 18 shots from 3-point range (5.6%).

Dexter Dennis had 16 points to lead the Magic (0-4). Orlando’s first-round picks Anthony Black — sixth overall — and Jett Howard — 11th overall — did not play.


Kessler Edwards totaled 18 points, eight rebounds and five assists, Jordan Ford scored 17 with seven boards and Sacramento defeated Minnesota.

Alex O’Connell came off the bench to score 15 on 5-of-9 shooting from beyond the arc for the Kings (2-2). Second-round pick Colby Jones started and had four points on 2-of-9 shooting, missing all four of his 3-point attempts. Second-rounder Jalen Slawson sank his only shot and grabbed four rebounds off the bench. Keon Ellis added 12 points and five assists. Reserve Chance Comanche had 12 points and four boards.

Josh Minott scored 18 points to top the Timberwolves (1-3). Leonard Miller, one of two second-round selections, finished with 10 points and 11 rebounds in a start. Jaylen Clark, the other pick, was inactive.


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