Kenneth Lofton Jr. Bullies Chet Holmgren In Summer League Matchup, Exposes Some Weaknesses

You could use the word ‘great’ to describe Chet Holmgren’s Summer League debut. His second game against a Kennth Lofton Jr.-led Memphis Grizzlies team? Not so much.

Lofton Jr., who signed a two-way deal with Memphis after going undrafted, did what he wanted with Holmgren on Wednesday night. While Lofton has a weight advantage over Holmgren, he also gives up six inches to the Thunder big man.

The former Louisiana Tech big man didn’t just toss his body around and back Holmgren into the post, either, he showed off his incredibly quick first step and touch from outside throughout the contest as well.

Lofton finished the game with 19 points, six boards, and three assists. While Holmgren still managed to pick up a double-double with 11 points and 11 rebounds, Lofton was the one making the highlight reel plays exposing Holmgren’s weaknesses.

As everyone was praising Holmgren’s Summer League debut earlier in the week, one anonymous NBA coach was quick to pump the brakes on the Holmgren hype. The coach made the point that Holmgren is “physically weak” and that he has “a long way to go.”

After Holmgren’s performance against Lofton Jr., it’s safe to say a lot of NBA fans will agree with the coach’s assessment.

It’s Not All Bad For Thunder Fans

If you’re a Thunder fan, there are two major takeaways from Holmgren’s struggles against Lofton Jr.

The first is that this is just a Summer League game and just Holmgren’s second-ever professional basketball game. The second is that Holmgren clearly showing he needs some time to develop means this team likely isn’t going to shock the league next season and be a playoff team.

One more year of being bad equals another lottery pick which should jumpstart things in year two for the Holmgren-led Thunder.

Holmgren gets a chance to silence his critics on Thursday night as the Thunder take on the 76ers at 6:00 PM ET in Salt Lake City.

Written by Mark Harris

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