Celtics make final roster move ahead of NBA Playoffs

Celtics make final roster move ahead of NBA Playoffs

Neemias Queta looking hyped in a Celtics jersey.

The Celtics made an intriguing move with the playoffs right around the corner.

The Boston Celtics have had a roster vacancy for most of the 2023-24 season, but it’s finally been filled ahead of the playoffs. Center Neemias Queta earned the 15th and final spot with the C’s, as the team announced that they signed him to a contract on Monday.

Queta was previously on a two-way deal, but with this new agreement, he’ll be able to join the Celtics for the playoffs and possibly play as a backup big man. Although the exact details of the contract are unknown, it’s reportedly for multiple years, per Brian Robb of MassLive.

Why the Celtics made the right decision with Neemias Queta

Boston Celtics center Neemias Queta (88) warms up before a game against the Memphis Grizzlies at TD Garden.Eric Canha-USA TODAY Sports
Queta is far from a household name in the NBA, yet he’s made the most of his time with the C’s.

After getting cut from the Sacramento Kings this past September, Queta came to Boston for the preseason. Through five preseason contests, he attempted 16 shots and made 13 of them—and that was all without receiving more than 14 minutes in a single outing. His last preseason performance against the Charlotte Hornets was especially noteworthy, as he notched 12 points and seven rebounds in just 13 minutes of play.

Despite his limited opportunities, the seven-footer has worked hard to impress the Celtics. So far, he’s played in 26 games for Boston, averaging multiple career-best marks with 4.6 points, 4.1 rebounds, and 0.6 blocks per game.

Even if Queta doesn’t get much run in the postseason, Boston made the right move by officially signing him. The Portuguese native is only 24 and could serve a more important role down the line.

Boston’s current big men include Kristaps Porzingis, Al Horford, and Luke Kornet, who are all 28 or older. Porzingis has dealt with various injury issues and the Celtics have been careful with his rest, so it doesn’t hurt to have a younger center like Queta who should be good to go whenever.

Plus, Horford is 37 and older than Celtics head coach Joe Mazzulla. He plays like he’s much younger and still has a lot to offer, however, Boston knows it can’t rely on the veteran center forever. Having a younger option like Queta should help whenever Horford decides to retire from basketball.

As for Kornet, he’s the same age as Porzingis, just not as talented. Kornet is arguably more of a bench guy than a starter, while Queta’s full potential is still undetermined.

Can Queta play in the G League Finals?

In the Eastern Conference G League Finals on Sunday night, Queta showed out with 16 points and 19 rebounds en route to a 99-77 win over the Long Island Nets. This clutch performance helped send the Maine Celtics to their first G League Finals in franchise history.

On Tuesday night, Maine’s finest will host the Oklahoma City Blue in Game 1 of the G League Finals. Even though Queta has elevated his contract, he’s still eligible to play in this Finals showdown. With the Maine Celtics, Queta has averaged an impressive 14.4 points, 8.8 rebounds, and 1.9 blocks per game.

It’s the best of both worlds for the NBA’s first Portuguese player, as he can now participate in the NBA postseason and the G League Finals. Queta’s hard work made this possible, and it’ll be interesting to see how far he can go while donning the green and white.

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