Sacramento Kings sign Neemias Queta to standard contract

Aug 9, 2023, 7:59 AM | Updated: Aug 10, 2023, 11:31 am

(Rocky Widner/Getty Images)...

(Rocky Widner/Getty Images)

(Rocky Widner/Getty Images)

Neemias Queta is back.

The Sacramento Kings announced on Wednesday that they have signed center Neemias Queta to a standard NBA contract for training camp.

After spending the past two seasons on a two-way contract that saw Queta split time with the NBA squad, the Kings’ G-League affiliate in Stockton, Queta will be in the mix for a full roster spot when training camp opens up next month.

According to broadcaster Ricardo Brito Reis, Queta’s contract is non-guaranteed for the regular season, meaning the big man will be battling for one of Sacramento’s final roster spots.

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Queta was named to the All-NBA G-League First Team and All-Defensive Team after a strong 2022-23 season with the Stockton Kings.

Queta, a second-year big out of Utah State, finished the season with averages of 16.8 points, 8.8 rebounds, 2.5 assists, and 1.9 blocks per game while shooting 68 percent from the field for a Stockton team that finished the season with a record of 25-7.

Among league leaders, Queta held top-five places in blocks (4th) and blocks per game (4th) while patrolling the paint for the Kings.

The 24-year-old finished the season as runner-up for the G-League Most Valuable Player, adding to Queta’s impressive year at the minor league level.

Now that Queta’s two-way contract days are behind him, the shot-blocking big man will compete against returning center Alex Len and recently-signed veteran Nerlens Noel for the backup center spot behind All-NBA talent Domantas Sabonis.

While it’s possible that Kings head coach Mike Brown opts to run a small-ball lineup with power forward Trey Lyles sliding over to the five, it’s clear that Sacramento needs an impact on the defensive end, especially in the paint.

During the Kings’ impressive 2022-23 campaign, Sacramento ranked 29th in blocks (3.4) and 20th in steals (7.0) per game. Queta has yet to experience a lengthy run as an NBA rotation player, but one can only hope that his defensive presence from the G-League can translate to the next level for this offense-heavy Kings roster.

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The move to sign Queta just weeks following the Noel signing might raise some eyebrows, but the signing makes more sense when you dive into Noel’s contract situation.

While Queta was signed to a standard contract for the 2023-24 season, Noel’s veteran minimum $3.2 million deal is only guaranteed for $300,000. If Noel makes the opening night roster, his guarantee jumps to $600,000. Noel’s contract will become fully guaranteed if he is not waived by January 10, 2024.

Both Queta and Noel are non-guaranteed deals, meaning that it’s like just one will make the final roster.

With Queta, Noel, and Len in the fold for next month’s training camp, the stage is set for an intriguing backup center battle as we speed toward the 2023-24 regular season.

Sacramento Kings Offseason Schedule

  • August TBD – 2023-24 NBA regular season schedule release
  • September TBD – Sacramento Kings training camp begins
  • Sunday, October 8th – Sacramento Kings @ Toronto Raptors – 5 PM PST (Preseason opener)
  • October TBD – NBA regular season begins

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