Kai Jones seems to have gotten his wish.
The Charlotte Hornets have officially waived Jones, just days after he publicly requested a trade out of the organization following a tumultuous few weeks, the team announced on Wednesday.
The Hornets center and former first round draft pick had been away from the team this fall due to “personal reasons.” That departure came weeks after a string of strange and concerning social media posts and activity from Jones.
The 22-year-old went on Instagram Live and was visibly sweating and behaving erratically last month, and then he started posting on X days later 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 other teammates, LeBron James, Hornets minority owner Michael Jordan and others at one point. His posts on X haven’t quieted down, either.
People inside the Hornets organization were reportedly worried about Jones’ wellbeing when he first took a step back. Jones then posted on X earlier this week that he had “officially requested to be traded” from the Hornets.
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.
The Hornets went 27-55 last season, the first under head coach Steve Clifford, and missed the playoffs for the seventh straight year. They will open their season on Oct. 25 against the Atlanta Hawks.
While it’s unclear specifically what’s going on with Jones, he is now done in Charlotte. Whether another team in the league gives him a chance remains to be seen.