School: Utah State
Height/Weight: 6’11, 225 lbs.
Neemias Queta has promise. And A LOT of it. He’s long, young, and is preparing to be the first Portuguese born player drafted into the NBA. His perceived stock is not as high as you’d think given his potential.
Queta’s a phenomenal rim protector. He has roughly a 7’4 wingspan, so yea…he’s long. He averaged 2.4 blocks per game during his freshman year at Utah State and it seems like that should translate well to the next level.
Queta lives on the block on the offensive end where he can tends to either go to a lefty or righty hook. If the shot is not there though, he’ll be happy to distribute the ball to a cutting teammate.
He has actually also shown the ability, while not too frequently, to extend his game. He only attempted 5 three point attempts in his freshman year, but did happen to make two of them. In each attempt, he has looked good. So while the FT% is unattractive, there’s some promise for him to be someone who can extend his game.
How he runs the court is quite impressive. He’s got such long legs and moves much better than one would suspect. There’s some concerns with his movement, but we’ll get to that later.
Positing on the block is probably Queta’s biggest strength. He does a phenomenal job of putting himself in position to allow for an entry pass from his teammate so once he catches it he can go straight up to the rim with it. The problem for Utah State was that they didn’t have a true elite passer.
To be able to truly succeed in the NBA, you need to have quick twitch movements and reactions. Queta has neither at this point. He still has time, but it takes him a while to jump, for instance, on a defensive rebound or even on the opening jump ball. It’s true, he does move quite well for his size when he gets going, but not having quick reactions doesn’t bode well for his future potential as a defender on a perimeter switch.
That brings us to his next weakness, perimeter defense. Honestly, we haven’t seen too much from him in this regard because he’ll camp himself in that paint to protect the rim, but what we have seen has been disconcerting. The movement is slow and he doesn’t slide his feet well at all.
Fatigue is a major issue too for Queta who noticeably struggles to get up and down the court after just a few minutes of playing. That leads to him not being as willing to defend and has him unable to jump for rebounds.
Strength is another big issue for him because Neemias can get backed down pretty easily by some stronger forwards. He does a great job of staying vertical to allow for his height to put the player at a disadvantage, but that doesn’t matter too much if he’s getting backed down deep into the post. Once that happens, he’ll defer to fouling the player and that has put him in constant foul trouble early on in games.
Lastly, the injury woes have started to hit Neemias Queta. That’s always a concern for players with the type of frame he has. Hopefully he can stay healthy but if not, teams may be wary of taking a flyer on him.
As noted multiple times, Neemias Queta has some unbelievable potential. The weaknesses he have right now are concerning, but certainly fixable. It’ll take some time for him to blossom into the player that he can become, but there’s a bright future ahead for Queta.
You shouldn’t be surprised to see him going late in the 1st or early in the 2nd round of the 2020 NBA Draft if he declares after his sophomore year.