The Kings lost one young center in free agency and are now taking a chance on another. The team announced that it has signed Chimezie Metu, a 23-year-old big who was the 49th pick in the 2018 NBA Draft by the San Antonio Spurs.
Metu played 47 games and 250 total minutes for the Spurs over the last two seasons, spending most of his time in the G League instead with the Austin affiliate. He played 25 games (22 starts) and averaged 18.0 points and 8.9 rebounds in 29.0 minutes per game with the Austin Spurs. Metu shot 58.2 percent on 2-pointers and 37.9 percent on 3-pointers, per Basketball Reference, and was a strong defensive rebounder in the G League.
He was waived by the Spurs at the start of free agency as the team elected to re-sign both Jakob Poeltl and Drew Eubanks as the young bigs of the future.
The Kings frontcourt rotation currently consists of Richaun Holmes, Hassan Whiteside, Marvin Bagley III, Nemanja Bjelica, and Frank Kaminsky, so it’s unclear where Metu’s minutes would come from. Not surprisingly, The Athletic reports that this contract is a training camp invite, so Metu isn’t guaranteed to make the team unless he shows out during the shortened preseason. Sacramento may also just want Metu for the Stockton Kings.
One player who appears destined for the Stockton Kings is Quinton Rose. The Athletic reported that the Kings have signed the 6’8 Temple guard to an exhibit 10 contract, which is a strong indicator that the team would like to see him develop in the G League. The Kings have yet to confirm the signing.
Rose averaged 16.4 points and 3.5 assists in 33.4 minutes per game, leading the Owls in all three categories. He has a long frame, but is only 185 lbs and needs to fill out his body and his game before he can be considered an NBA prospect. Hopefully, he demonstrates why the Kings took a flier on him.