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Is Chimezie Metu poised to have the biggest year of his career?

Chimezie Metu is in a position to become a key role player for the Kings.

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Sacramento Kings v Houston Rockets Photo by Logan Riely/NBAE via Getty Images

After Chimezie Metu had a career year with the Sacramento Kings this past year, the team decided to exercise the young forward’s player option for the 2022-23 season. He averaged career highs in minutes, points, and rebounds with 21.3, 8.9, and 5.6 respectively.

Last season, Metu was in a position where his role with the team was not yet solidified. There was constant movement amongst the Kings’ big men and the consistency was not always there. However, after a lot of postseason changes to the roster, Metu is now in a spot where he can be one of the team’s key role players.

In both 2019 and 2020, Metu was a member of the Nigerian men’s national team where he played under his new coaches Mike Brown and Jordi Fernandez. Having this preexisting trust while simultaneously coming off a career year may set Metu up for a lot of opportunity in 2022-23.

For Metu, the best case scenario this season would see him once again averaging career highs in minutes, points, and rebounds. This is a contract year for him paired with a new coaching staff and teammates. His prior relationship with the new coaches should allow him to see the court longer and more often.

Worst case scenario, Metu will get lost in the mix of the new roster and sees a reduction in minutes. The Kings lacked wing depth last season giving Metu a chance to shine. This past offseason that need was addressed quickly. If he doesn’t show further improvement, he will get relegated to the end of the bench.

Metu’s likely role this season will be either the second or third power forward manning the front court alongside Richaun Holmes and Trey Lyles. He will be asked to have more of a presence in the paint on both sides of the ball and control the boards.

If Metu can do that on a regular basis, he should see a lot of playing time and potentially earn himself a contract extension.