Source: Sacramento Kings guarantee Chimezie Metu’s $1.9 million contract for next season

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Paul Kitagaki Jr./

One of the decisions the Kings had to make on the eve of free agency was what to do with Chimezie Metu’s contract for the 2022-23 season.

A league source told The Sacramento Bee the Kings chose to guarantee Metu’s $1.9 million salary for next season. Metu has one year remaining on a three-year, $4.4 million deal, but the final year of his contract was nonguaranteed if he was waived by Wednesday.

In the end, the Kings elected to keep Metu, 25, a 6-foot-9, 225-pound power forward who came out of USC as the 49th overall pick in the 2018 NBA draft. He spent his first two seasons with the San Antonio Spurs before signing with Sacramento in 2020.

Metu appeared in only 36 games during the 2020-21 season, but he took on a larger role last season. He appeared in 60 games, including 20 starts, averaging 8.9 points and 5.6 rebounds in 21.2 minutes per contest.

Metu had six double-doubles last season, including an 18-point, 13-rebound performance in a late-season win over the Houston Rockets. One of the highlights of his career came when he made a game-winning 3-pointer at the buzzer in a 95-94 victory over the Dallas Mavericks on Dec. 29.

Metu was a member of the Nigerian national team that competed in the Olympics last summer in Tokyo. That team was coached by then-Golden State Warriors assistant Mike Brown, who was recently named head coach of the Kings.

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