Charlotte Hornets forward Kai Jones has left fans confused with his previous social media posts, and they have now caught the team’s attention. It’s led to various questions regarding his status with the Hornets, and whether he will be with them once training camp begins.
Roderick Boone of the Charlotte Observer first reported on Jones’s social media posts and the concerning actions that followed:
“Jones hasn’t participated in any of the players’ optional sessions and it’s unclear if he’ll be among the Hornets’ contingent to hit the floor for the start of training camp next Tuesday. The third-year big man has made some very curious social media posts during the past few weeks, including a couple where called out some of his teammates.”
The Hornets have currently declined to comment further on the situation:
Steve Clifford said the team isn’t going to comment on Kai Jones’ situation (there has been some bizarre behavior on social media) and it is a matter that is being handled internally.
— Steve Reed (@SteveReedAP) September 26, 2023
NBA Rumors: Will Kai Jones Remain a Charlotte Hornet?
The 19th pick in the 2021 Draft, Jones is entering his third season in the NBA. He is coming off of limited opportunities in the past two years, recently averaging 3.4 points and 2.7 rebounds across 46 games last season.
His inactivity on the court contrasted with a flurry of activity on social media have been enough to raise eyebrows in the offseason.
Kai Jones states his 'new version' can match MVP and DPOY levels
He also feels he can take on LeBron and Shaq in a 1v1 and considers himself superior to LaMelo Ball and Brandon Miller pic.twitter.com/AdiuO3nhBf
— NBACentral (@TheDunkCentral) September 14, 2023
Kai Jones has comments on his teammates Nick Richards and Mark Williams
— NBACentral (@TheDunkCentral) September 13, 2023
Between polarizing statements and criticisms of his teammates, Jones has put himself in hot water with the Hornets organization.
Where Kai Jones and Charlotte Go From Here
Jones’s recent posts have caused a rift between himself and his teammates—not a good look for a young player eyeing more opportunities. It’s also far from what a young, developing team needs. Jones is an athletic two-way forward known for his work ethic. However, his issues this summer have led to more questions than answers over his future with the organization.
Though next steps are currently unclear, it’s likely that the Hornets will meet with Jones in an attempt to understand the situation and help him correct his behavior. Jones is not the first player whose social media activity has caused concern for his team, but it is the latest example of the need for such team intervention.
What becomes of Jones’s actions remains to be seen, but the Hornets will have to set him on the right path sooner rather than later. If things take a turn for the worse, there’s a chance Jones could be on his way out from Charlotte. As a result, he’d have a difficult journey ahead of him, as teams finalize their training camp rosters.
Regarding the Hornets’ center situation, Jones is third on the depth chart behind Mark Williams and Nick Richards. Having three young centers in need of development makes for an interesting situation. The fact that WIlliams and Richards were the targets of Jones’s recent criticism complicates tensions greatly. If Jones is not with the team prior to camp, it will open up opportunities for the other two bigs.
The Last Word
Kai Jones and the Hornets must resolve this situation before the season begins. There’s no denying Jones’s talent on the court, but it has clearly been tarnished with these recent developments. Assuming he faces some disciplinary action, Jones will have to work harder to mend the relationships with his teammates. He looks to help the Hornets as they continue their rebuild.