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ALBUQUERQUE, NEW MEXICO - FEBRUARY 29: Neemias Queta #23 of the Utah State Aggies grabs a rebound against the New Mexico Lobos during their game at Dreamstyle Arena - The Pit on February 29, 2020 in Albuquerque, New Mexico. (Photo by Sam Wasson/Getty Images)
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Sacramento Kings Select Neemias Queta With The 39th Pick In The 2021 NBA Draft

(Photo by Sam Wasson/Getty Images)

Queta averaged 14.9 points, 10.1 rebounds, 2.7 assists, 1.1 steals and 3.3 blocks per game last season for Utah State

If there was a theme to Monte McNair’s 2021 Sacramento Kings draft class, it’s pretty simple:

Defense.

Sacramento selected seven-foot center Neemias Queta from Utah State with the 39th pick in Thursday’s NBA Draft, bringing one of the strongest defenders in the draft into the fold for next season.

Queta, 22, averaged 14.9 points, 10.1 rebounds, 2.7 assists, 1.1 steals and 3.3 blocks per game last season while claiming his second Mountain West Conference Defensive Player of the Year Award. The junior finished his college career with a 59-percent mark from the field and a 64-percent clip from the free-throw line.

By adding Queta and ninth-overall pick Davion Mitchell, the Kings have added a strong on-ball defender in Mitchell (1.9 steals per game; Big-12 Defensive Player of the Year) and strong rim protector to bolster the defensive presence of a Kings team that ranked dead last in defensive rating in 2020-21.

Another factor in the Queta/Mitchell picks is experience. Both players are over the age of 22, bringing the Kings maturity and NBA readiness after three-plus seasons of NCAA basketball.

Summer League action kicks off on Wednesday afternoon when the 3rd annual California Classic begins at Golden 1 Center.

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