Chimezie Metu

Pacific Notes: Kings, Metu, Holmes, Wiseman, Coffey

The Kings remain upset about a play in their game on Sunday against Memphis, when Grizzlies center Jonas Valanciunas threw Chimezie Metu to the ground following a dunk. Metu, who is on a two-way contract with Sacramento, fractured his wrist while trying to break his fall and will miss at least the next month.

After dunking, Metu hung on the rim with Valanciunas underneath him and the Grizzlies’ big man responded by grabbing Metu’s legs and throw him to the court. Memphis contends that Metu was trying to show up Valanciunas by hanging over him following the dunk, while the Kings insist the 23-year-old had no place to safely land. Valanciunas was assessed with a technical foul, not a flagrant, a ruling the NBA upheld after reviewing the play, much to the Kings’ displeasure.

“I thought it was a dirty play — still do,” Kings coach Luke Walton said, according to Jason Anderson of The Sacramento Bee. “Watched it a lot since and just disappointed. … He hooked him by the leg and tried to throw him down, so I didn’t understand how that is not, in what today’s NBA is, is not even considered a flagrant foul. I don’t see how that’s a basketball play.”

“There are people who think that was right or (Valanciunas) was in the right by any means, which is also ridiculous,” Kings rookie Tyrese Haliburton said. “It’s hard to understand if you think that, because Mezie has nowhere to go. He can’t land on the ground there and the timing between him being thrown to the ground and the timing of the dunk, there’s not a lot of time there. It’s not like he wrapped his legs around and tried to taunt. We were down 20. He’s not trying to taunt him. He’s trying to stay safe.”

Here’s more from around the Pacific:

  • Asked about his priorities when he reaches free agency this summer, Kings center Richaun Holmes told Michael Scotto of HoopsHype, “I want to be able to take care of my family.” While that doesn’t necessarily mean he’ll simply accept the most lucrative offer available, it sounds like Holmes won’t be eager to accept any sort of home-team discount.
  • The Warriors issued a formal update on James Wiseman on Thursday, announcing that they hope he’ll return from his left wrist injury at some point during the team’s four-game road trip that begins Friday in Orlando. While it remains to be seen if he’ll be available on Saturday in Charlotte, that game will represent the first checkpoint in what figures to be an ongoing Wiseman/LaMelo Ball redraft debate, notes Anthony Slater of The Athletic. Golden State picked Wiseman second overall, leaving Ball – the standout rookie so far this season – for the Hornets at No. 3.
  • Amir Coffey hasn’t played much for the Clippers since signing a two-way contract in the summer of 2019, but injuries have cleared the way for him to earn major minutes this week — he has averaged 14.0 PPG on 76.9% shooting in the last two games (29.0 MPG). As Mirjam Swanson of The Orange County Register writes, Reggie Jackson observed that Coffey is “trying not to be sent back down” to the G League bubble once L.A.’s roster gets healthier.

Kings Forward Chimezie Metu Has Fractured Wrist

8:44pm: Metu will be re-evaluated in four weeks, according to a team press release.


5:09pm: Kings forward Chimezie Metu has a fractured wrist and will be sidelined for several weeks, Jason Anderson of the Sacramento Bee reports.

The injury occurred on what Kings coach Luke Walton deemed a “dangerous play” by Grizzlies center Jonas Valanciunas on Sunday.

Metu continued to experience soreness after going through pregame warmups for Monday’s game against the Nets. An X-ray afterward revealed a right wrist fracture.

He’ll be examined by a hand specialist to determine his recovery timeline, Anderson adds.

After Metu dunked during the fourth quarter on Sunday, he hung from the rim with Valanciunas standing beneath him. Valanciunas appeared to pull Metu down by his left leg, according to Anderson, causing him to crash to the floor. Metu extended his right hand to break his fall.

Valanciunas was given a technical foul on the play for unsportsmanlike conduct, but not a flagrant foul.

Metu is on a two-way contract with the Kings. A 2018 second-round pick of the Spurs, Metu has appeared in 11 games for the Kings this season. He’s averaging 3.4 PPG and 2.1 RPG in 6.5 MPG.

Kings Re-Sign Chimezie Metu To Two-Way Contract

DECEMBER 24: Metu’s two-way contract is now official, according to a press release issued by the Kings.


DECEMBER 23: The Kings are filling their open two-way slot by re-signing forward/center Chimezie Metu, reports Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN (Twitter link). Metu cleared waivers today after being cut from Sacramento’s standard roster on Monday.

Selected 49th overall in the 2018 draft by the Spurs, Metu was never able to establish consistent playing time in San Antonio during his two years with the team. He appeared in 47 games over the last two seasons, averaging 2.3 PPG and 1.5 RPG in 5.3 minutes per contest before being waived by the Spurs last month.

Metu subsequently caught on with the Kings on a three-year contract with a $50K partial guarantee in year one and played well in the preseason, with 24 points, nine rebounds, and three blocks in 29 total minutes. However, since Sacramento was carrying 14 players on guaranteed contracts and Glenn Robinson III earned the 15th spot, there was no room for Metu.

Because he has just two years of NBA service under his belt and his guarantee didn’t exceed $50K, Metu remained eligible to sign a two-way contract with Sacramento after clearing waivers. He’ll occupy one of the Kings’ two-way slots while Kyle Guy has the other.

As our two-way tracker shows, only the Pistons, Suns, and Trail Blazers will still have open two-way spots once Metu’s deal with Sacramento is official.

Kings Waive Chimezie Metu

The Kings have set their roster for the start of the regular season by waiving power forward Chimezie Metu, league sources tell Jason Jones of The Athletic (Twitter link).

Metu, a 2018 second-round pick, was never able to establish consistent playing time in San Antonio during his two years with the team. He appeared in 47 games over the last two seasons, averaging 2.3 PPG and 1.5 RPG in 5.3 minutes per contest before being waived by the Spurs this offseason.

Metu subsequently caught on with the Kings on a three-year contract with a $50K partial guarantee in year one. The multiyear nature of his deal with Sacramento and his strong play in the postseason (24 points, nine rebounds, and three blocks in 29 total minutes) suggested he may be in the team’s plans, but he’ll be the odd man out in advance of tonight’s roster deadline.

The Kings now have 14 players on fully guaranteed contracts, plus Glenn Robinson III on a non-guaranteed deal and Kyle Guy on a two-way pact. Metu could fill the Kings’ other two-way slot if he clears waivers and there’s mutual interest in a new deal.

Kings Waive Frank Kaminsky

DECEMBER 20: The move is official, tweets James Ham of NBC Sports.


DECEMBER 19: The Kings will release center/power forward Frank Kaminsky, tweets Shams Charania of The Athletic. Kaminsky signed a one-year deal with the team earlier this month that carries a $50K guarantee.

Kaminsky, 27, got into 39 games with the Suns last season, averaging 9.7 points and 4.5 rebounds in about 20 minutes per night. He was the ninth pick in the 2015 draft and spent the previous four years in Charlotte.

The Kings are now down to 17 players on their camp roster and will need to make at least one more move before Monday’s deadline. They have 14 fully guaranteed contracts, along with Glenn Robinson IIIChimezie Metu and one player on a two-way deal.

Robinson will make the final roster, according to James Ham of NBC Sports (Twitter link), so Sacramento may decide to waive Metu and re-sign him to fill the other two-way slot. Metu’s contract isn’t an Exhibit 10 deal, so it can’t be directly converted into a two-way contract.

Kings Notes: Hield, Bogdanovic, Cap Flexibility, Metu

By the end of the 2019/20 season, it appeared that Buddy Hield‘s days in Sacramento might be numbered. He had bristled at being removed from the starting lineup last winter and the Kings appeared committed to investing in Bogdan Bogdanovic, the man who had replaced Hield as the club’s starting shooting guard.

However, Sacramento let Bogdanovic walk in free agency and Hield remains on the roster. Addressing the situation in a conference call with reporters this week, general manager Monte McNair expressed a belief that Hield can still be – and is – a part of the Kings’ long-term plans.

“I’ve talked with Buddy, as well as his agent, I think we’re all on the same page,” McNair said, per James Ham of NBC Sports California. “I think we’re really excited to see Buddy kind of let free in this system. I think he’s going to be fantastic.”

The Kings are aiming to increase their tempo on offense this season. As Ham notes, that would seem to be a good fit for Hield’s outside shooting ability.

“‘Buddy is such an incredible talent, especially his shooting is at an elite level,” McNair said. “(That) is something we saw this offseason was at a premium. I think we’re really excited to see him in this system.”

Here’s more on the Kings:

  • Asked during his media availability this week about the Kings’ decision not to match Bogdanovic’s offer sheet, McNair provided many of the same reasons that were reported at the time of the move. As Ham writes for NBC Sports California, the Kings’ GM said the team wants to “maintain as much (salary cap) flexibility as we can” and cited the presence of Hield and Tyrese Haliburton as the backcourt as factors in the decision to let Bogdanovic go.
  • Using McNair’s comments as a jumping-off point, Jason Anderson of The Sacramento Bee explores how not having Bogdanovic’s contract on their books will affect the Kings’ projected cap room in 2021 and beyond.
  • The Kings used part of their mid-level exception to sign free agent forward Chimezie Metu to a three-year, minimum-salary contract, according to Keith Smith of Yahoo Sports (Twitter link). Metu only has a $50K partial guarantee for now, though that would increase to $250K if he makes the opening night roster, Smith adds.

Kings Sign Chimezie Metu To Camp Deal

NOVEMBER 28, 12:55pm: Metu has officially signed with the Kings, according to a team press release.

NOVEMBER 25, 5:08pm: The Kings are signing former Spurs big man Chimezie Metu, according to James Ham of NBC Sports California (Twitter link). Although Metu will get a training camp deal, he’ll have a shot to earn a spot on Sacramento’s regular season roster.

Metu, a 2018 second-round pick, was never able to establish consistent playing time in San Antonio during his two years with the team. He appeared in 47 games over the last two seasons, averaging 2.3 PPG and 1.5 RPG in 5.3 minutes per contest.

The Spurs released Metu last week and he cleared waivers on Sunday, clearing the path for him to sign outright with the Kings.

In Sacramento, Metu will be competing to earn a depth spot in a frontcourt that currently features the likes of Richaun Holmes, Marvin Bagley, Nemanja Bjelica, and, as of today, veteran center Hassan Whiteside, who is reportedly signing a one-year deal with the Kings.

Spurs Waive Metu, Re-Sign Eubanks

NOVEMBER 24: The Spurs have officially re-signed Eubanks, per the NBA’s transactions log. According to Keith Smith of Yahoo Sports (Twitter link), only the first year of the big man’s three-year, minimum-salary contract is guaranteed. The second year has a partial $500K guarantee and the third year is non-guaranteed.


NOVEMBER 20: The Spurs have waived forward Chimezie Metu, according to a team press release. They’re re-signing big man Drew Eubanks on a three-year contract, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski tweets.

The three-year deal for Eubanks is worth $5.29MM, Michael Scotto of HoopsHype tweets. That makes the deal a minimum-salary contract.

Metu, a 2018 second-round pick, was never able to establish consistent playing time in San Antonio. He appeared in 47 games over the last two seasons, averaging 2.3 PPG and 1.5 RPG in 5.3 MPG.

Eubanks passed Metu in the pecking order by the end of last season, as Jeff McDonald of the San Antonio Express-News tweets. The undrafted Eubanks, 23, appeared in 22 games last season, averaging 4.9 PPG and 3.9 RPG in 12.4 MPG. He also flashed some shot-blocking ability, swatting 11 shots in San Antonio’s last seven games during the restart.

Eubanks, a two-way player last season, received a qualifying offer from the Spurs this week.

Southwest Notes: Porzingis, Jackson Jr., Winslow, Metu

There’s no timetable for Kristaps Porzingis to return to action following knee surgery, but he’s optimistic about his recovery, tweets Dwain Price of Mavs.com. Porzingis underwent a procedure in October to repair the meniscus in his right knee and won’t be available when the season starts.

“The only thing I know is that I’m recovering well, and that’s the most important thing,” he said. “We’ll see. I would like to start as soon as possible and I’m doing all the things necessary to do that.”

Porzingis hurt his knee in the first game of Dallas’ playoff series against the Clippers and played two more games with the injury. The Mavericks hope he will be cleared to resume on-court activities by January 1.

“I think I’m pretty close to being able to get some shots up,” Porzingis said. “We’re just taking it easy, we’re taking our time, but I’m pretty much there and I can’t wait to start doing more stuff. But I have to be smart, I have to be patient.” (Twitter link)

There’s more from the Southwest Division:

  • The Mavericks tried to get a higher pick in the first round of last night’s draft, but weren’t able to work out a deal, tweets Callie Caplan of The Dallas Morning News. General manager Donnie Nelson said the team also had opportunities to move down, but didn’t want to pass up Josh Green with the 18th pick.
  • The Grizzlies will have to start the new season without  Jaren Jackson Jr. and Justise Winslow, writes Evan Barnes of The Memphis Commercial Appeal. Executive VP of basketball operations Zach Kleiman confirmed that both players aren’t fully recovered from injuries that sidelined them last season. Winslow, who had an injured hip, is expected back before Jackson, who underwent knee surgery in August. “I would say that Justise is going to return early this season. It might not be day one, but no setbacks,” Kleiman said. “He’s been in our facility in Memphis, working out twice a day, doing an awesome job in his rehab and we’ll be excited to have him early in the season.”
  • Spurs center Chimezie Metu has changed agents, signing with Wasserman’s Darren Matsubara, tweets Tim MacMahon of ESPN.

NBA G League Assignments/Recalls: 2/24/20

Here are Monday’s assignments and recalls from around the NBA G League:

  • The Pistons recalled guard Khyri Thomas from the Grand Rapids Drive, according to a team press release. In two games with the Drive, Thomas averaged 17.0 PPG, 4.0 RPG and 1.5 APG in 22.0 MPG. Thomas, a second-round pick in 2018, played two early-season games with the Pistons before undergoing foot surgery.
  • The Warriors assigned big man Alen Smailagic to their Santa Cruz affiliate, the team’s PR department tweets. He has averaged 15.8 PPG and 6.2 RPG in 18 games with the G League club. The rookie has also seen action in 14 Golden State games.
  • The Timberwolves recalled swingman Jacob Evans III and forward Jarred Vanderbilt from their Iowa affiliate, according to a team press release. Evans was acquired from Golden State and Vanderbilt was acquired from Denver earlier this month.
  • The Pacers assigned forward Alize Johnson to the Fort Wayne Mad Ants, the team’s PR department tweets. The 2018 second-round pick has appeared in 12 games with the NBA club this season.
  • The Spurs assigned Keldon Johnson and  Chimezie Metu to their Austin affiliate, according to the G League transactions log. Johnson, the team’s first-round pick last June, has played five NBA games. Metu, a second-year forward, has appeared in 16 games for San Antonio this season.