San Antonio has gotten off to a good start in the NBA Playoffs as they’ve stolen Game 1 from the Denver Nuggets. They’re 1-1 after the game Tuesday night. With that in mind, I’ve got a prospect watch to hold you over until Game 3. I’ll be taking a look at Utah State big man Neemias Queta.
The 6-foot-11, 240-pound Aggie has not gotten much attention this season since he played in the Mountain West Conference and flew under just about everyone’s radar.
However, he recently declared for the NBA Draft and now will be getting the attention he deserves. A lot of that pre-draft buzz will revolve around his physical tangibles like his height and size as well as his speed for a big man and his wingspan. He’s got a 7-foot-5 wingspan with a 9-foot-6 standing reach.
To give you a better idea of what the Spurs might be dealing with in Queta, here are some of his stats from his lone season at USU:
- 11.8 PPG, 2.4 BPG, 1.6 APG, 8.9 RPG (in 27 minutes per game)
- 61.4 FG%, 56.5 FT%
- 23.9 PER, 111.3 ORtg, 88.8 DRtg
Queta is an intriguing prospect as he is still pretty raw and can be molded offensively. His defense is pretty good already and he’s mastered the art of verticality when contesting shots around the rim.
His long arms and big body make it difficult for opponents to shoot well at the rim and that led to Utah State having the 4th-best 2-point field goal percentage in the country. He also led his conference in blocked shots and was named the Freshman of the Year in the MWC as well as the Defensive Player of the Year.
The Portugal native is definitely expected to be a pick-and-roll rim running big man from the get-go, but he has shown flashes of game expansion potential. He has stepped out and hit some mid-range jumpers and hit all of two triples on the year.
His form doesn’t look all too bad but is pretty mechanical. It’s a good foundation to start with, but should be greatly improved upon with some extra attention given to it by coach Chip Engelland.
While the defense is a sure thing for Queta, he will have to improve some aspects of his offensive game, including his jump shot. But more notably, he will need to work on his touch around the rim as he really only finishes well with his right hand.
While he doesn’t have too much of a post game to speak of, he does work hard on offense. He is always moving in for offensive rebounds and he posts hard, occupying the other team’s rim protector to give his guards more space to drive. He also has great hands and a wide catch radius to boot.
This Aggie has been quietly sneaking up some mock draft boards and he might be a guy that the Spurs would have to take with the Raptors pick in the first round. He can learn a lot from Jakob Poeltl as they are built and play in a similar fashion.
Queta would end up being a nice little project for the Spurs and their G-League staff to iron out all the kinks and send back to San Antonio a little more polished.