Sacramento Kings take a big hit in the Summer League

Neemias Queta, Sacramento Kings against Golden State Warriors. Mandatory Credit: Darren Yamashita-USA TODAY Sports
Neemias Queta, Sacramento Kings against Golden State Warriors. Mandatory Credit: Darren Yamashita-USA TODAY Sports /

While the Sacramento Kings had a successful start to the 2023 NBA Summer League, the team has taken some hits recently. The Kings cruised through the California Classic with a 2-0 record, but the news of Keegan Murray being shut down heading to Las Vegas indicated that the team would play worse without him.

The Kings won their first game in Vegas without Murray but have lost two straight since. The loss of Keegan Murray already hurt the team, then starting big man Neemias Queta suffered an injury in Monday night’s loss.

Neemias Queta will miss the remainder of the 2023 NBA Summer League

Center Neemias Queta was ruled out of Tuesday night’s game, and it was reported (via @JandersonSacBee | Twitter) that Queta will also miss the last two Summer League games.

While the Sacramento Kings looked like an elite Summer League team in the California Classic, the loss of Keegan Murray and Neemias Queta set this team back far. The rim protection, rebounding, and interior presence of Queta are vital to this young Summer Kings squad.

The Kings felt Queta’s loss in Tuesday night’s game, as they fell to the Chicago Bulls, even though Sacramento’s hometown hero, Jordan Ford, had a career game. With 25 points and 8 assists, Ford’s outstanding performance wasn’t enough.

Jordan Ford did have help, as Keon Ellis and Mike Daum had great games as well. Ellis had 19 points, 7 rebounds, and 2 steals, while Daum had 22 points and 7 rebounds. The three of them shot a combined 12-21 from deep.

With the lack of interior presence that Neemias Queta provides, the impressive performances from those three players were not enough to get it done and prove that the Summer League Kings are doomed for their last two games as well.

While Neemias Queta had been ruled out for the remainder of Summer League, the 7’0″ big man should still receive a Kings’ roster spot. The 23-year-old (who turns 24 on Thursday) has proven his defensive value, even if he has struggled at times.

The Sacramento Kings have certainly felt the absence of Keegan Murray, and after dropping back-to-back games with Queta out, the young Summer Kings team will likely continue to struggle. With all due respect to Jordan Ford and the supporting cast, the horrible close of Tuesday night’s loss is a major indication of how the rest of the Summer League will go.