The Charlotte Hornets have waived center Kai Jones, just a few days removed from him publicly requesting a trade out of town. This was the final straw for the organization after weeks of strange, unexplainable, and downright disrespectful social media activity. The team announced Wednesday that they had made the decision to let their 2021 first-round pick go.
The Hornets youngster had been away from the team this Fall due to “personal reasons.” That departure came following a slew of strange social media posts from Kai Jones, where he displayed behavior that suggested he might either be losing his mind… or was on some sort of strong drug. Whatever it is, he is clearly suffering from delusions of grandeur.
The 22-year-old big man recently went on Instagram Live – visibly sweating and behaving in an odd manner. He also started posting on X about how he thought he was a better player than Hornets star LaMelo Ball and No. 2 overall draft pick Brandon Miller, among other things. He called out teammates, LeBron James, Hornets minority owner Michael Jordan, and several other pro basketball figures with sound and fury.
There was reportedly already concern growing amongst officials in the Hornets’ front office about Jones’ demeanor in recent weeks. Despite speculation that it could be an addiction issue, the team did not address that matter as it would have opened them up for potential liability. So, for now? The Kai Jones Saga is an enigma wrapped inside a riddle.
Jones made it clear on Monday that he wanted to be traded from the Charlotte Hornets on social media. Just two days later, he was released and free to sign wherever he would like to.
So if this was all just a plot to get out of The Queen City? Then it worked. But the biggest question for him right now in terms of his career is likely, Who will want to add him to their team if he’s already shown that he’s got issues? Surely, no contender would want so many dizzying distractions from a young player like that.
Kai Jones averaged 3.4 points and 2.7 rebounds per game last season while averaging 12 minutes per contest off the bench. The Hornets first selected him with the No. 19 overall pick out of Texas in 2021 through a trade with the New York Knicks on draft day.
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