Hornets’ Kai Jones Requests Trade

Hornets big man Kai Jones has submitted a trade request, he announced on social media (Twitter link).

Jones is indefinitely away from the Hornets — with no timetable for a return — due to personal reasons. That announcement came after the 22-year-old made a series of strange social media posts, including calling out some of his teammates.

A former first-round pick (19th overall in 2021), Jones has averaged just 2.7 points and 2.0 rebounds in 67 total games with the Hornets (9.1 minutes per night). He has had a much bigger role at the G League level, averaging 17.2 points, 9.9 rebounds, 1.2 steals and 2.1 blocks in 38 regular season games with the Greensboro Swarm — Charlotte’s affiliate — from 2021-23.

Jones will earn a guaranteed $3.05MM this season after the Hornets picked up their third-year option on his rookie scale contract last fall. However, based on recent events and his limited role during his first two seasons, it’s looking extremely unlikely that they will pick up his $4.69MM option for 2024/25.

It’s hard to envision any type of trade market materializing for Jones’ services at this point. Charlotte waiving him outright seems more plausible, given his modest contributions and odd behavior.

He also may face a fine from the NBA for making a public trade request.

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