Sacramento Kings: Chimezie Metu signs deal with Phoenix Suns

Chimezie Metu #7 of the Sacramento Kings. (Photo by Quinn Harris/Getty Images)
Chimezie Metu #7 of the Sacramento Kings. (Photo by Quinn Harris/Getty Images) /

After the recent news of Harrison Barnes and Trey Lyles re-signing with the Kings, a different Sacramento forward is on the move.

NBA free agency strikes again as the Kings lose a player to a division rival. Adrian Wojnarowski reported Chimezie Metu signed a one-year deal with the Phoenix Suns. While Metu is a big loss for the Kings’ frontcourt depth, Sacramento fans wish him the best of luck in Phoenix.

The 26-year-old forward spent three seasons in Sacramento after starting his career with the San Antonio Spurs. While his playing time was limited last season, Metu has proven his value when given the chance. In the 2021-22 season, Chimezie Metu averaged 8.9 points, 5.6 rebounds, and 0.9 steals per game while playing 21.3 minutes per night.

Chimezie Metu’s minutes dropped to just 10.4 per game last season as he competed with Alex Len for backup center minutes, ultimately leading to both of them falling out of the rotation in the playoffs.

The Phoenix Suns sign Chimezie Metu with hopes he can provide valuable depth to a scarce roster, most likely taking backup big man minutes. The 6’9″ PF/C has shown off his versatility with a strong game everywhere except the perimeter. Metu is the ideal small-ball center, as although he is 6’9″, he plays with high energy and uses his athleticism to his advantage on defense.

Chimezie Metu played a total of 162 games in Sacramento and started just 26 of them. Metu was valuable off the bench and stepped up when the Kings needed him.

The Sacramento Kings letting Metu leave hints at a free agency move to sign a backup center, as the Kings’ biggest issue after the first hour of free agency is center depth. The two centers on the roster are Domantas Sabonis and Neemias Queta, as Sabonis is awaiting a contract extension, and Queta was just signed to a new deal.

Kings fans could have seen Metu wanting out of Sacramento after his role decreased last season. With Metu signing to a division rival in Phoenix, he will play against Sacramento four times next season, as Kings fans can await his return to Golden 1 Center.