1. Chimezie Metu
It feels like Chimezie Metu was signed as insurance across the big man rotation. The big can play as a four or five, but importantly could play alongside Ayton if coach Vogel feels like being more defensive. Interestingly, he could also become the guy that bangs more, allowing Ayton to flourish a little bit more offensively.
Really though Durant and Ayton will see most of the minutes here, and the hope is that Eubanks can do what Jock Landale did for the roster last season. Come in and play with a level of intensity that actually surpasses Ayton’s – which isn’t always the most difficult thing to do.
Wainright factors here as well, and would get the nod over Metu in a straight shootout between the two. That’s not to say he doesn’t have his uses, in 2021-22 he averaged 8.9 points and 5.6 rebounds for the Sacramento Kings. Numbers that surpass anything Wainright has done in the league to date.
It just feels like Metu has never fully convinced any team that he is worth leaning more heavily on, and that is going to continue in The Valley. At least to begin with anyway, although at 26-years-old and after 212 games (three playoff appearance), if ever he is going to break out, it is going to be now.
If Bol ends up being anything at all, Metu’s role is going to suffer even more. On the other hand though, Bol is a horrendous defender, and it would be a miracle if Vogel didn’t see him as little more than a quirk to throw at opponents for two minute bursts once every five games or so. Metu may surprise us, but he’s beginning 2023-24 fighting for actual minutes