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Queta makes debut as Kings end California Classic with loss

NBC Sports
Neemias Queta

It wasn’t pretty. In fact, it was mostly ugly. For a second straight game, the Sacramento Kings' California Classic squad struggled down the stretch and came out on the losing end, this time to the Los Angeles Lakers' Summer League squad by a final of 84-74.

The Kings came into the afternoon beat up, but the late injury report had some pleasant surprises. Davion Mitchell shook off a bout with leg cramps and started for Sacramento. He didn’t have the same impact as he had in the opener, but he still managed to score 10 points on 4-of-13 shooting. 

Mitchell turned the ball over four times and he picked up six personal fouls, but it wasn’t all bad. Summer League is the perfect place to have some success, but also failures. He’ll have a list of items to work on after this experience, which is how young players learn and improve. 

After missing the opener with an ankle injury, Jahmi’us Ramsey shook off the injury bug to start for coach Bobby Jackson, but he looked extremely rusty, scoring just two points and turning the ball over four times in 18 minutes of action.

 

The biggest surprise appearance came from Portuguese 7-footer Neemias Queta, who made his Summer League debut after missing time with a sore ankle. He took a little while to get comfortable, but once he got his sea legs, you could see why the Kings selected him with the No. 39 overall pick in the 2021 NBA Draft. 

Queta sets mean picks, rolls to the basket with force, and once he settled down, he started grabbing rebounds and scoring at the rim.

The 22-year-old is going to need time in the G League to adjust to the speed of the game, but there is plenty to like. He finished with six points on 3-of-5 shooting and chipped in four rebounds in 12 minutes off the Kings’ bench.

King of Kings

Louis King already has a two-way contract locked up with the Kings, but every one of these games is a chance for him to show the coaching staff that he can play minutes at the NBA level if given the shot.

Against the Lakers, King looked dominant at times. He finished with a team-high 19 points on 8-of-14 shooting. He added six rebounds, two assists and two rebounds in 32 minutes at the small forward position.

King is versatile enough to play the one, two or three at the NBA level and, at just 22 years old, there is plenty of time for him to grow as a player.

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Second impression same as the first

In addition to King, big man Emanuel Terry made another strong impression in his quest for a two-way spot. He can really run the floor and he has a knack for finding the ball. He finished with 16 points, nine rebounds and a block. 

If Terry continues to play with the same energy and passion, he could easily find himself on the Kings’ training camp roster with the potential to land in Stockton either on a G League or two-way contract. 

Matt Coleman stood out last game, but with Ramsey making his debut, Bobby Jackson had limited minutes to hand out and he split them amongst other players. Coleman likely will get a much longer look when the Kings make their way to Las Vegas Summer League later this week.