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Can Utah State’s Neemias Queta improve his stock at the NBA Draft Combine?

Utah State center Neemias Queta will participate in the NBA Draft Combine this week in Chicago.
Utah State center Neemias Queta (23) protects the ball during the first half of a first round game against Texas Tech in the NCAA men’s college basketball tournament, Friday, March 19, 2021, at Assembly Hall in Bloomington, Ind. Queta will participate in the NBA Draft Combine this week in Chicago.
Doug McSchooler, Associated Press

The state of Utah will have one representative at this week’s NBA Draft Combine — Utah State center Neemias Queta.

Can Queta become the second straight Aggie to be drafted, after Sam Merrill was taken with the final selection in the 2020 draft? He’ll get the chance to perform in front of NBA personnel this week.

How to watch the 2021 NBA Draft Combine

  • Dates: Monday, June 21 though Sunday, June 27
  • Locations: Wintrust Arena and Marriott Marquis, Chicago
  • Details: Queta is one of 69 players invited to this year’s draft combine. During the combine, players will interview with NBA teams and play in five-on-five games, as well as participate in drills (shooting, strength and agility).
  • How to watch: ESPN2 on Thursday, ESPNU on Friday from 1-5 p.m. MDT, coverage of five-on-five games

Scouting Neemias Queta

Here’s what a couple NBA draft experts have said about the 7-foot, 245-pound Queta prior to the combine:

  • Chad Ford, NBA big board: “Queta, who grew up playing basketball in Portugal, is all over the place on NBA draft boards, which probably says more about the state of centers in the NBA than anything else. With his size and college productivity, he might have been a lottery pick a decade ago. His rebounding, shot-blocking and assist numbers are all really intriguing. He doesn’t have the quickest feet, which could limit his defensive versatility, but there are so many positives that he deserves a look in the late first round.”
  • NBA Draft Room: “An intriguing long term prospect who has good size and some tools to work with but is kind of heavy footed and doesn’t get off the ground well or display a lot of agility.”

Queta in NBA draft projections

Queta does show up on a handful of recent NBA mock drafts, including one where he is a late-first round projection. Note: this all comes before the NBA Draft Lottery this Tuesday (6:30 p.m., ESPN).