LOCALS IN THE NBA
Former Aggie Center Showcasing Improvement At Summer League
SALT LAKE CITY – Former Aggie big man Neemias Queta has flashed NBA rotational skills while playing with the Sacramento Kings in the NBA 2K23 Summer League.
The seven-footer out of Portugal was drafted in the second round (39th overall) by the Sacramento Kings in 2021.
After flirting with the NBA draft process following his sophomore season, Queta instead returned to Logan where he averaged 14.9 points, 10.1 rebounds, 3.3 blocks and 2 assists in his junior season, making 56% of his field-goal attempts. He was named Mountain West conference player of the year and defensive player of the year.
Neemias Queta Drafted by the Sacramento Kings in the Second Round of the @NBADraft. Queta becomes the first Portuguese player in the NBA.
➡️ https://t.co/nQ8sWlIqiR#AggiesAllTheWay pic.twitter.com/AXGcO4GrcG
— USU Men's Hoops (@USUBasketball) July 30, 2021
After bolstering his resume, Queta entered the 2021 draft and briefly stole the show at the NBA Draft Combine with his measurements. The former Aggie was the tallest player, with and without shoes, at the event. Queta also had the No. 1 standing reach and largest wingspan.
Queta played 14 games with Sacramento in his rookie year, averaging fewer than nine minutes per game and contributing little.
In 11 starts with the G-League Stockton Kings, Queta showed why Sacramento used a valuable second round pick on him. Averaging 20.8 points and 10.8 rebounds per game, Queta shot 57 percent from the field while blocking three shots per game at the other end.
Neemias Queta was on 🔥 this past week for the Stockton Kings:
47 points (22-28 2PT, 78% FG).
4 Blocks. @nemi1599 pic.twitter.com/fOqbOfoZHL
— BDA Sports INTL (@BDASportsINTL) March 21, 2022
Through four games in Las Vegas, Queta has begun to make a name for himself. A verbal back and forth between Queta and 2022 No. 1 pick Paolo Banchero didn’t go unnoticed and Queta didn’t back down.
With 10 seconds left, Neemias Queta and the Sacramento Kings trailed Paolo Banchero and the Orlando Magic 87-81. Queta was left open at the top of the three-point line when he drilled a triple to cut the deficit to three. The Kings stole the inbounds pass and Keegan Murray hit a three at the buzzer to send the game to overtime.
Neemias Queta cuts the lead to 3️⃣ and KEEGAN MURRAY TIES IT UP AND SENDS IT TO OT#NBASummer Overtime on ESPN pic.twitter.com/gQF8cWUbsi
— NBA (@NBA) July 9, 2022
While in overtime, the Magic were at the free-throw line when Banchero was talking to Queta.
“You wasn’t supposed to hit that three-ball,” Banchero said.
Queta had a fast response.
“You don’t know me, bruh,” Queta said. “You ain’t know.”
"You ain't know"
Paolo Banchero and Neemias Queta chat about his clutch game-tying 3 😅 pic.twitter.com/R1a21PteOt
— NBA (@NBA) July 9, 2022
Queta’s number’s reflect an increased confidence this summer. His 12.8 points per game on a highly efficient 67.9 percent from the field is gold in a traditional center starved league. He is also averaging 6.5 boards and 2.8 blocks per game.
With talent like that, Queta could find himself in Sacramento’s regular season rotation sooner rather than later.