Portland Trail Blazers: 3 potentially UDFA steals from the 2021 NBA Draft

Herbert Jones, Portland Trail Blazers, 2021 NBA Draft (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
Herbert Jones, Portland Trail Blazers, 2021 NBA Draft (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images) /
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Neemias Queta, Utah State University
Neemias Queta, Utah State University (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images) /

Portland Trail Blazers should monitor Utah State center Neemias Queta

The prototype for the center position in the NBA is changing quickly. The stars at the big position are now multifaceted players on offense, capable of doing everything a guard can, but at 7-feet tall.

The ideal role players at the five are athletic rim runners who can provide vertical spacing, set solid screens, and defend the rim. That’s the exact type of player the Trail Blazers are lacking.

Luckily, with how loaded the NBA is at every position, the Blazers could find the perfect player going undrafted. Enter Neemias Queta.

The former Utah State Aggie is an absolute force inside at 7’0, 245-lbs. Queta averaged 14.9 points, 10.1 rebounds, and a ridiculous 3.3 rejections per game as a junior.

As a true seven-footer with a 7’4 wingspan, Queta doesn’t come across a shot that he can’t block. He’s active as a defender, constantly patrolling the paint for those swats he loves so much. Despite his knee injuries, he’s still mobile for his size and should have no problem as a rim protector at the next level.

On offense, he’s a good finisher inside who rises up with aggression. He’s not exactly a post threat, but he does have good touch inside when he’s not stuffing defenders through the rim. His improvement from the free throw line suggests that he might be able to develop a consistent midrange game as well.

He’s also an underrated playmaker at his size and position. The Blazers won’t have to worry about him being a blackhole inside or forcing up bad shots. As he grows, his passing may even be an important asset to the Portland bench.

Most importantly though, he’ll provide the vertical spacing the Blazers have been lacking for years.

Between his ability to defend the rim and throw down lobs, he’ll be worth way more than a rookie minimum salary. If his injury history causes him to go undrafted, Portland could find a perfect backup center at an amazing value in Neemias Queta.