The Celtics reportedly signed 24-year-old center Neemias Queta to a two-way contract on Saturday, providing depth for Boston’s big men.
Prior to signing with the Celtics, Queta spent two seasons with the Kings organization. He was drafted by Sacramento with the 39th pick in the 2021 NBA draft. Queta mostly resided in the G League, though he did appear in 20 games for the Kings over two seasons.
Here are five things to know about the new 7-foot, 248-pound Celtic center:
He was runner-up for G League MVP.
Queta may not have gotten many opportunities to showcase his talent at the NBA level, but he turned plenty of heads in the G League.
In 29 games with the Stockton Kings, Queta averaged 16.8 points, 8.8 rebounds, and 1.9 blocks per game. He earned a spot on the All-NBA G League first team and was second in MVP voting behind Carlik Jones.
Despite showing promise in the G League and possessing an NBA-like frame, the Kings did not retain Queta for 2023-24.
He is originally from Portugal.
Born and raised in Barreiro, Portugal, Queta didn’t move to the United States until college. He began playing basketball at 10 years old and excelled in Portugal.
Before college, Queta played for Portugal’s U-20 national team in the 2019 FIBA World Cup, Division B. There, he averaged 14.3 points, 11 rebounds, and 2 blocks per game. Team Portugal finished first place in that division, and Queta was named to the All-Star Five.
He was a sought-after recruit heading into college.
Queta’s international play didn’t go unnoticed by colleges in the United States. Although Queta ultimately committed to Utah State, he had other notable offers on the table.
Queta reportedly drew interest from Texas Tech, Creighton, and St. Mary’s. The Aggies successfully lured him to Utah instead, led by assistant coach Eric Peterson, who visited Queta in Portugal.
He joined Utah State without ever meeting the head coach.
Peterson might have established a relationship with Queta early on in the recruiting process, but Utah State’s head coach at the time, Craig Smith, never met Queta in person until he stepped foot on campus.
Instead, Smith relied on film and online communication with Queta throughout the recruitment process. That never stopped Queta from going all-in on the Aggies and succeeding with them at the collegiate level.
His final year of college showcased his freak athleticism.
Queta played three seasons of college basketball, appearing in 86 games for Utah State and starting 84 of them.
His first two seasons showed promise. He averaged nearly 12 points as a freshman and established himself as a rim protector, posting 2.4 blocks per game that season.
Queta’s third and final year of college was his best all-around, though. He averaged 14.9 points, 10.1 rebounds, 2.7 assists, 1.1 steals, and 3.3 blocks per game. The center did a little bit of everything on the floor, helping elevate him to a top-40 pick in the draft after the season.
Now, Queta will join the Celtics and bolster depth at center behind Kristaps Porzingis, Robert Williams III, and Al Horford.