Hornets Notes: Jones, Ball, McGowens, Camp Questions

Hornets big man Kai Jones is away from the team indefinitely with no timetable for a return following a series of strange social media posts. Charlotte said he’s away for personal reasons.

However, one of his former teammates doesn’t think there’s anything amiss with Jones, according to Noah Weber of The Smoking Cuban (Twitter video link).

Kai has always been like that…People just have never seen the real Kai,” said forward Greg Brown, who played college ball with Jones at Texas. “Kai is really just showing the real Kai right now.”

Brown is currently on an Exhibit 10 training camp deal with the Mavericks. He said he reached out to Jones, who says “he’s doing great.”

Here’s more on the Hornets:

  • Point guard LaMelo Ball missed 46 games last season due to three left ankle sprains and a broken right ankle, which required surgery. At Monday’s Media Day, Roderick Boone of The Charlotte Observer asked the 22-year-old if he planned to wear ankle braces in 2023/24, and Ball said yes. An All-Star in ’21/22, Ball signed a rookie scale max extension with the Hornets this offseason which will begin in ’24/25.
  • According to Boone (Twitter link), second-year wing Bryce McGowens will be a limited participant in training camp, which starts Tuesday, after rolling his ankle last week during a workout. McGowens will earn a guaranteed $1.72MM this season after being promoted to a standard contract from a two-way deal in February. His salaries for ’24/25 and ’25/26 are non-guaranteed.
  • In an article for The Charlotte Observer, Boone poses five questions the Hornets need to answer entering training camp, including if Ball can stay healthy, how No. 2 overall pick Brandon Miller fits into the equation, and the health status of wing Cody Martin, who only played seven games last season due to a knee injury.
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