Neemias Queta was drafted by the Sacramento Kings with the 39th pick in the 2021 NBA Draft. Two years later, and I’m not sure we know anything more about his ability to play consistent NBA minutes than we did on draft night.
Queta appeared in just 5 games for the King in 2022-23, down from the 15 games he played in his rookie season. And with the Kings climbing out of a 16-year rebuild, NBA minutes for the sake of development no longer exist in Sacramento.
The 23-year-old center out of Utah State had a strong year for the Stockton Kings, though, so we should touch on that. Queta averaged 16.8 points shooting an incredibly efficient 68% from the field, and filled up the rest of his stat sheet with 8.8 rebounds, 2.5 assists, 1.9 blocks, and 0.9 steals. Queta was named to the All-NBA G League First Team, NBA G League All-Defensive Team, and finished second in NBA G League MVP voting.
Queta checks a lot of boxes the Kings need out of a backup center moving forward. In theory.
Neemy is a very large man that moves surprisingly well. He can defend the paint better than anyone on the roster right now, so long as he isn’t getting into foul trouble. He can rebound. His skill as a passer is high enough that Mike Brown could probably get away with running some of the same sets he’s already running through Domantas Sabonis.
The problem is that the Kings have shown no signs of giving him an NBA opportunity, and that makes it difficult to expect much out of him moving forward despite the G League tests he continues to ace.
Queta is heading into restricted free agency this summer, so the Kings can keep him around if they choose to do so. And if Monte McNair decides to re-sign him, and Mike Brown decides to give him a shot, great. Let’s see what he can do.
But he’s reached the level of G League success where the likely best option for him is to find a rebuilding NBA team that can afford those bumpy developmental minutes the Kings can’t. Neemy is an incredibly easy player to root for, and I’d like to see him get an opportunity to show the world what he can do on the biggest stage, for better or worse, here or elsewhere.