Getty Images

The Memphis Grizzlies are about to experience a bit of a roster crunch. Ja Morant, their star point guard that has been suspended for all 24 games the Grizzlies have played so far this season, is set to return on Tuesday, Dec. 19 when Memphis faces the New Orleans Pelicans

To fit Morant onto their roster, the Grizzlies have to make a move to clear a roster spot. According to Damichael Cole, the Grizzlies beat reporter for The Commercial Appeal, they are expected to waive popular reserve Kenneth Lofton Jr. to clear space for their All-Star.

Lofton, who went undrafted in 2022, joined the Grizzlies on a two-way deal last season and immediately surpassed expectations. He won the G-League's Rookie of the Year award last season after averaging more than 25 points per game in 13 appearances for the Memphis Hustle, and in a meaningless end-of-season game against the Oklahoma City Thunder, he scored 42 points and picked up 14 rebounds.

Aside from his play, Lofton became a fan-favorite due to his unusual physical dimensions. He is short for a big man, measuring just 6-foot-7, but he was among the heaviest players in the NBA last season at a listed 275 pounds, and he reportedly arrived to training camp this season at around 300 pounds. He was affectionately nicknamed "Snacks Randolph" in honor of beloved Grizzlies legend Zach Randolph.

But the Grizzlies needed to clear a roster spot, and Lofton has hardly played this season. Meanwhile, less heralded players like Jacob Gilyard and Vince Williams have impressed when given opportunities. The Grizzlies are still shorthanded in the front court with Steven Adams and Brandon Clarke injured, but Memphis has seemingly decided that Lofton is still going to be the odd man out when Morant returns.