The Boston Celtics introduced in Neemias Queta on a two-way contract, and whereas the 24-year-old seven-footer will probably spend most of his time in Maine, the transfer may sign the start of an audition course of for Brad Stevens.
Al Horford is 37 years previous – he gained’t be round endlessly. This 12 months would be the first season of his two-year contract extension, and after that, his future within the league is unclear. In the meantime, Robert Williams and new Celtic Kristaps Porzingis have handled harm points all through their careers.
Boston has probably the greatest large rotations within the league, but it surely comes at a price. Luke Kornet will present some sneakily stable backup minutes after showing in 69 video games for the Celtics final 12 months, however that’s the place their heart depth ends.
With Blake Griffin’s time in Boston supposedly ending, the Celtics must be looking out for brand new large man tasks.
Kornet was truly a product of this course of. He first joined the Celtics through a commerce with the Chicago Bulls in 2021. And after spending time within the G League and bouncing round on 10-day offers with the Cleveland Cavaliers and Milwaukee Bucks, he discovered his manner again to Boston. The large man performed effectively sufficient with the Maine Celtics to earn an ordinary deal, and he’s been a dependable depth possibility for the massive membership ever since.
Final offseason, the Celtics introduced in Mfiondu Kabengele on a two-way deal after a powerful Summer season League stint. He performed moderately effectively within the G League however didn’t stick. The identical may be mentioned about Noah Vonleh, who had a shot to earn a assured spot on the roster however was in the end traded by the deadline and waived by the San Antonio Spurs.
Now, Queta would be the Celtics’ subsequent large man venture. At simply 24 years previous, Queta is coming off a dominant G League season that noticed him end second in MVP voting behind Bulls guard Carlik Jones. He averaged 16.8 factors, 8.7 rebounds, 2.4 assists, and 1.9 blocks per sport whereas capturing 68.5% from the sector.
The Sacramento Kings minimize Queta after signing veteran heart JaVale McGee, a lot to the chagrin of many followers. Although he was by no means capable of earn common minutes in Sacramento’s rotation, followers and media spoke extremely of the seven-footer throughout his time there.
Tony Xypteras of The Kings Herald even went so far as noting that Queta may run a number of the identical units the Kings arrange for Domantas Sabonis:
“Neemy is a really giant man that strikes surprisingly effectively,” Xypteras wrote. “He can defend the paint higher than anybody on the roster proper now, as long as he isn’t moving into foul hassle. He can rebound. His talent as a passer is excessive sufficient that Mike Brown may most likely get away with working a number of the identical units he’s already working by way of Domantas Sabonis.”
Queta gained’t step into the Celtics rotation instantly. He gained’t be requested to play common minutes, nor will he have the chance to. However by bringing him in on a two-way deal, Boston will welcome him into their system and have the choice of utilizing him in a pinch if want be.
Prior to now couple of years, the Celtics haven’t solely been probably the greatest groups within the NBA but additionally utilized their G League squad to perfection. Kornet and Sam Hauser each spent important time in Maine earlier than becoming a member of the Celtics on commonplace offers and now each are constant faces in Boston’s regular-season rotation.
With Hauser’s emergence as a rotation piece, the Celtics now have some stable wing depth behind Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown. Jordan Walsh will have a chance to climb into the lineup this 12 months, too.
The subsequent merchandise on Stevens’ to-do record is the middle place, as a result of with Horford’s profession coming to a detailed and Williams’ and Porzingis’ harm histories, large man depth shall be a necessity shifting ahead.
Queta might not be the reply proper now, however he’ll have an opportunity to show himself as the subsequent man in a line of auditions.