Kai Jones’ Status With Hornets Uncertain

Kai Jones remains on the Hornets’ roster but there are indications he may not play for Charlotte this season, according to Roderick Boone of the Charlotte Observer.

Jones has been a no-show during the players’ optional sessions and he’s called out some of his teammates in social media posts in recent weeks.

Jones also made a series of odd social media posts and Instagram Live appearances, claiming in one tweet that he’s better than Shaquille O’Neal and LeBron James and then standing by the statement. Hornets head coach Steve Clifford told Boone that “We are aware of the social media posts and it’s a situation that’s been handled internally.”

The club exercised its $3.05MM option on Jones for the coming season last October. The team has a $4.69MM option decision to make on Jones’ contract for the 2024/25 season. The deadline is the end of next month.

Jones was a first-rounder in 2021, acquired on draft night from the Knicks. He has appeared in 67 games during his first two seasons, all off the bench. He averaged 3.4 points and 2.7 rebounds in 12 minutes per game during 46 appearances last season.

He was on the Hornets’ Summer League team in July and expressed to Boone back then that “I’m having the most fun ever.”

However, Jones still projects as Charlotte’s No. 3 center behind Mark Williams and Nick Richards.

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