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Charlotte Hornets waive center Kai Jones

2023 NBA Las Vegas Summer League - Los Angeles Lakers v Charlotte Hornets

LAS VEGAS, NV - JULY 9: Kai Jones #23 of of the Charlotte Hornets dribbles the ball during the game against the Los Angeles Lakers during the 2023 NBA Las Vegas Summer League on July 9, 2023 at the Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas, Nevada. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2023 NBAE (Photo by Bart Young/NBAE via Getty Images)

NBAE via Getty Images

After having him away from the team during training camp citing “personal reasons” and Jones asking for a trade on social media, the Charlotte Hornets have taken the next step and waived former first-round pick center Kai Jones.

This is not a surprise, and it gives each side a clean break. Jones responded on X (formerly Twitter) with this post.

Once he clears waivers Jones will be a free agent. However, after how things went down in Charlotte — with a series of bizarre
social media posts, including some criticizing teammates, and actions that had the team not bringing Jones into camp — it’s difficult to see any team jumping to sign him. Jones showed flashes at Summer League — where he averaged 7.8 points, 4.8 rebounds and 1.8 blocks a game — but after two NBA seasons the fact he was not standing out at that level was concerning.

Not as concerning as his string of social media posts. The first was on Instagram Live with Jones was behaving oddly and sweating profusely. Then there were a series of posts on X with Jones suggesting he was a better player than the Hornets’ LaMelo Ball or No. 2 pick Brandon Miller, plus saying he could beat LeBron James one-on-one. Jones then criticized teammate Mark Williams, the Hornets center who starts ahead of him. Quickly teammates began unfollowing him on social media.

The Hornets are moving on (although they will have to pay his $3 million salary for this season). Hopefully Jones finds his way and can be back in the league down the line.