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Kings guarantee contracts of big men Jones and Metu

NBC Sports

Kings general manager Monte McNair took another step towards completing his 2021-22 roster Tuesday afternoon when he guaranteed the contracts of both Damian Jones and Chimezie Metu.

A league source confirmed to NBC Sports California that Jones will earn the entirety of his $1.98 million contract for this season after working his way onto the Kings roster last season through a pair of 10-day deals. 

The 26-year-old big man joins a crowded frontline that now includes Richaun Holmes, Tristan Thompson and Alex Len, although Len's two-year, $7.65 million contract has not been officially announced by the team yet.

In 17 games with the Kings last season, Jones averaged 6.9 points, 4.5 rebounds and a block in 20 minutes per game. He brings energy and defensive toughness to the center spot and could come in handy with some of the injury history of the players around him.

Like Jones, Metu worked his way onto the Kings' roster through an alternative route last season. After signing as a two-way player, Metu impressed when given an opportunity and was signed to a three-year contract with Sacramento on April 28

Metu's contract is partially guaranteed, but according to a league source, the Kings picked up the first portion of the deal, guaranteeing at least $881,398 of his $1,762,796 contract for this season. The Kings now have plenty of time to assess their roster before making a final determination on Metu's remaining money.

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In 36 games in Sacramento, including six starts, Metu posted 6.3 points and 3.1 rebounds in 13.6 minutes per game. He shot 50.8 percent from the field and an impressive 35.1 percent from 3-point range during his time in Sacramento.

 

The 24-year-old out of USC is currently playing with the Kings' summer league team in Las Vegas. He has plenty of potential, but he'll face an uphill battle for playing time early in the season with the Kings' depth at both pivot positions. 

With these two additions and the eventual addition of Len, the Kings' roster currently sits at 16 players, with Justin James' team option set for Aug. 15. In addition, Sacramento has filled both of their two-way contracts with Louis King and rookie second-round pick Neemias Queta.