Kai Jones won't be reporting to training camp ahead of the 2023-24 season. The Charlotte Hornets forward seemed to be well on his way to becoming a rotation player in his third NBA season, but the franchise announced Saturday that he'll remain away from the team for an indefinite amount of time due to personal reasons. Jones has no timetable for return, but the team will remain in constant contact with him.
Jones ramped up his social media activity in early September and all of his teammates stopped following him after a questionable Instagram livestream in which he speculated that he didn't think the Hornets would trade him. He went on to criticize the games of several of his teammates online before stating that he could beat LeBron James and prime Shaquille O'Neal in one-on-one matchups on X.
Jones, 23, was selected with the 19th overall pick in the 2021 NBA Draft. The Texas product averaged just 3.4 points and 2.7 rebounds per game last season but showcased plenty of potential in the 2023 NBA Summer League, where he averaged 7.8 points, 4.8 rebounds, 2.2 steals, and 1.8 blocks per contest.
Whether he'll return to Charlotte during the upcoming season remains to be seen.