The Sacramento Kings are exercising the option on PF/C Chimezie Metu for the 2022-2023 season, sources tell ESPN. Metu averaged 8.9 points and 5.6 rebounds in 21 minutes a game for the Kings last season.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) June 29, 2022
At around $1.9 million, guaranteeing the contract of someone like Metu, who has shown flashes, makes some sense. Metu, 25, averaged a career-high 8.9 points and 5.6 rebounds in his second season with the Kings in 2022-23.
The Kings have tried to utilize Metu as an athletic stretch four, but unfortunately, the shooting just hasn’t translated. Metu shot just 30.6% from three on 3.1 attempts per game in 2021-22, and overall is a 30.8% 3-point shooter over his 143 career games.
On the surface, retaining Metu makes sense, but less so when considering the Kings are packed at the power forward spot. After picking up the $2.5 million option on Trey Lyles, it makes less sense.
Bringing back Metu adds to Sacramento’s glut at the forward spot — Metu now sits alongside Lyles, No. 4 pick Keegan Murray, Harrison Barnes and Moe Harkless. Aside from Barnes and, hopefully, Murray, it’s hard to expect above-average NBA play from any of these guys.
One thing to note is that Metu has experience playing under Mike Brown, as Metu played under Brown last summer for Team Nigeria in the Olympics. So, maybe, Brown is comfortable with Metu and intends to use him in his rotation.
Of course, Sacramento could still trade Metu ahead of the season.
Once free agency begins tomorrow at 3 p.m. PT, Sacramento really needs to find a way to improve at the forward spot and generally have the roster make more sense as they look to head into a season in which the front office is expecting a “Wolves-esque surge” under new head coach Mike Brown.