Last-second Boston Celtics signing sends grateful message to Brad Stevens and Co.

Charlotte Hornets v Boston Celtics
Charlotte Hornets v Boston Celtics / Brian Fluharty/GettyImages

Neemias Queta is grateful that Boston Celtics President of Basketball Operations Brad Stevens and the rest of the franchise's front office signed off on a guaranteed deal for him before the start of the 2024 NBA postseason.

Following a 131-98 victory for the Cs over the Charlotte Hornets at the TD Garden on April 12 -- the team's penultimate regular season game in 2023-24 -- in which Queta scored 16 points, grabbed six boards, and even dished out five assists, the Portuguese pivot expressed his gratitude and commented on how even the Celtics' "stay-ready" group was able to be so dominant on the floor.

“I feel like it’s about building habits," Queta said of his performance in the win (h/t CelticsBlog). "Good habits. Winning habits. Being able to come out on the floor and play meaningful minutes on an NBA court is something that we [live our lives] for, and it’s gonna be important for our development long-term. So, the more minutes we can play and be able to contribute to winning, the more competitive we can be.

“Definitely feel grateful. I feel grateful for that. It’s something that I’ve been working [toward] for a very long time, and it’s very fulfilling that I’m able to do it at this point of the year when the team is doing so good.”

Neemias Queta a solid break-glass-in-case-of-emergency frontcourt option for Boston Celtics

Queta earning a guaranteed contract was a feel-good boost to the Celtics' morale at the end of the 2023-24 regular season, but he's also a solid emergency option in the frontcourt if the team is lacking on offense come the postseason.

At this stage of their careers, Kristaps Porzingis and Al Horford are more willing to shoot the ball than bang in the post. Xavier Tillman is a bit short for the center position at six-foot-seven. Luke Kornet isn't the most fleet of foot frontcourt player on the Cs or otherwise.

Queta is the closest thing to Robert Williams III Boston has in its ranks. If he's ever needed, his energy and athleticism could provide a different look than Joe Mazzulla's other options.

Don't expect Queta to get big minutes, or even any non-garbage time minutes, if all goes according to plan. But if it doesn't? Stevens made a sly move guaranteeing his deal before the playoffs.