The Sacramento Kings are waiving centers Neemias Queta and Nerlens Noel, as first reported by ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowksi, and confirmed by multiple local reporters.
ESPN Sources: After signing JaVale McGee to a free agent deal, the Sacramento Kings are waiving centers Nerlens Noel and Neemias Queta to give them a chance to play elsewhere. Both signed partially guaranteed one-year deals with Kings this summer.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) September 12, 2023
Queta and Noel were expected to battle for the third string center position in training camp, but the situation changed when JaVale McGee became available and chose to sign with the Kings. Queta and Noel had both been signed to only partially guaranteed contracts, whereas JaVale was given a guaranteed contract right away. The writing was on the wall.
Still, it was unclear if the Kings might still have the two battle in camp and possibly carry four centers into the season. It seemed unlikely, and today’s move confirms the Kings know their big man rotation going into the year.
It makes sense to release Queta and Noel now and give them a chance to latch on with another team for training camp. I’m sure it’s a disappointing turn of events for both players, but it’s good business by the Kings to give them the opportunity before camp roster fill up. It also gives the Kings an opportunity to bring in additional prospects at the wing and point guard positions.
While we never so much as saw Noel in a Kings uniform, it’s a bit sad seeing Queta’s Kings tenure end this way. Selected with the 39th pick of the 2021 Draft, Queta has had great success in the G League but hasn’t been able to demonstrate consistency at the NBA level. He’s still young and has tremendous physical tools, but the development minutes simply weren’t there for him in Sacramento. We’ll be rooting for him to land somewhere else in the NBA and continue his journey.