The 15th player the Celtics require is Neemias Queta.

Neemias Queta has won the right to play in the Boston Celtics’ final roster spot.


Trade deadline season is upon us. Already, two quite significant acquisitions have closed. Following the Toronto Raptors’ defeat at the hands of the Boston Celtics, both of them occurred. Okay, so those defeats had nothing to do with Masai Ujiri’s choices, but it’s still entertaining to bring it up.


It’s always exciting to see the trade market at this time of year and imagine a new player joining your squad. That player can occasionally be a star-caliber athlete. In other situations, they serve as a dependable bench warmer who strengthens the team’s depth through the second half of the season and the postseason.


Thanks to the Grant Williams sign-and-trade, the Celtics have a $6.2 million traded player exception (TPE) and an open roster slot. They are the NBA’s best team, they lead the Eastern Conference, and—above all—they are a second-tax apron team. Though it can be entertaining, it’s not really necessary to harbor dreams of being the next big thing this year.


The Celtics, on the other hand, need a body. They need someone who can enter the game, contribute positively to the locker room, and possibly absorb some minutes during the game’s last growth phase before being added to the rotation in the event of an injury or absence. The majority of veterans who can have an influence on the floor won’t be thrilled with such a little role. Moreover, the majority of players who would take on that job most likely lack the ability to contribute if called upon, or not in any meaningful way or for a substantial amount of playing time.

Neemias Queta steps in at this point. He has taken on that part. In that role, he has flourished. This season, Queta has spent his time between Boston and Maine under a two-way deal. There have been periods of time when he has not been in the starting lineup. There have been times when Joe Mazzulla could only spare him a few minutes. There have also been periods when he has contributed significantly to the game and played meaningful minutes in the rotation.

In 15 of Boston’s 41 games this season, Queta has participated. His most recent season-high minutes was 22:55 from December 23 against the Los Angeles Clippers. On December 19, he also played 20 minutes against the Golden State Warriors. For the two games, Luke Kornet was not in the game.


Conversely, Queta has played 3:35 minutes versus the Utah Jazz, 5:17 minutes versus the San Antonio Spurs and Memphis Grizzlies, and 6:43 minutes versus the Los Angeles Lakers. You understand what I mean. He has adjusted to the change in playing time without any problems.


That’s what the Celtics want, isn’t that? Someone who can play in games even when they aren’t on the court, who might have future potential, and who still has the talent and motivation to be

Off the bench, Queta brings something unique to the Celtics lineup. He poses a greater physical danger around the rim than Kornet, Kristaps Porzingis, and Al Horford do. His motor never stops. And he’s a dependable rebounder because he knows how to control his space. Basketball Index has broken down his rim-finishing techniques for you to see.

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