Neemias Queta re-signs with Boston Celtics on multi-year contract | Sports

Former Utah State men’s basketball star center Neemias Queta seems to have found a longer-term home in the NBA after re-signing with the NBA champion Boston Celtics in the early hours of free agency and the start of the new league year. The deal, first reported by Shams Charania of The Athletic, is reported to be a two-year contract worth an estimated $4.5 million.

A little more than 24 hours before the start of the free agency period, the Celtics technically waived Queta, though reports did indicate mutual interest in re-negotiating a new deal. The contract Boston opted out of was likewise a multi-year agreement. Queta had initially signed a two-way contract on Sept. 17 shortly after being waived by the Sacramento Kings. That two-way deal was later converted to a rest-of-season contract worth just under $2.3 million for the rest of the 2023-24 season, including playoffs, and a team option for Boston to keep Queta for the 2024-25 season.

Boston chose to decline the option for 2024-25 but re-signed Queta for a very similar salary but with one more year attached to the end of it. It hasn’t been reported if the second year is a team option, which would give the Celtics a chance to cut Queta after one year.

This past season was by far the most successful for Queta in a three-year career that has seen limited opportunities for the Utah State product. After being drafted 39th overall in the 2021 NBA Draft by the Sacramento Kings, Queta only appeared in 20 total games in two seasons, playing a grand total of 149 minutes. He spent most of his time with the franchise’s G-League affiliate, the Stockton Kings, averaging 17.0 points, 8.3 rebounds, 2.1 assists and 2.0 blocks in 68 G-League appearances (excluding the playoffs). But, after being waived by the Kings and signing with the Celtics, Queta found some new life.

Queta still only saw limited NBA minutes, appearing in only 20 regular season games (and spending time in the G-League with eight appearances for the Maine Celtics) but many of his chances were for extended minutes and for several games in a row. The two most prominent stretches for Queta were in late November through December and then in late January.

From Nov. 26 to Dec. 31, Queta appeared in 11 of the 16 games the Celtics played. He played 15.3 minutes per game and averaged 5.8 points, 5.5 rebounds per game, including a pair of double-doubles (10 points, 10 rebounds vs the Golden State Warriors on Dec. 19 and 14 points, 12 rebounds vs the LA Clippers on Dec. 23). In the late January run, he averaged 11.8 minutes, 6.2 points, 4.6 rebounds and 1.2 blocks in five games from Jan. 27 to Feb. 4

Queta also appeared in his first playoff games, making brief appearances at the end of three contests that were blowouts, doing so twice in the second round series against the Cleveland Cavaliers — where he shared the floor with former Aggies teammate Sam Merrill for several minutes — and once in the NBA Finals. With Boston winning the NBA title, Queta became the second former Aggie to do so (Merrill being the first).

All in all, Queta set single-season career highs in virtually every statistical category, averaging 5.5 points, 4.4 rebounds, 0.7 assists, and 0.8 blocks per game. It was a big step for Queta in establishing himself as an NBA player and not constantly sitting on the fringe of being cut and potentially washing out of the league entirely.

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