Hornets Center Kai Jones Requests Trade On Social Media

Charlotte Hornets Center Kai Jones “officially requested to be traded from the Charlotte Hornets” on social media Monday, which could have him facing a hefty fine.

Jones, who has been away from the Hornets for personal reasons, announced his trade request on X, formerly known as Twitter.

Jones played college basketball at the University of Texas and was drafted with the 19th pick in the first round of the 2021 NBA Draft by the New York Knicks and was immediately traded to the Hornets. Jones has yet to establish himself in the league, which may be the reason for his trade demand.

Last season, Jones played 46 games with the Hornets, averaging 3.4 points per game and 2.7 rebounds per game. Jones has a $4.7 million option for next season that the Hornets are not expected to pick up.

Complex reports Jones could be fined up to $150,000 by the NBA based on the league’s collective bargaining agreement, which states a player could be fined or suspended when someone “[publicly expresses a desire to be traded to another team.”

Last month, Jones made some concerning statements during an Instagram Live, including several messages where he criticized teammates Mark Williams and Nick Richards, who are ahead of him at the center position on the Hornets depth chart.

The Hornets finished last season with a 43-39 record, good enough for 10th place in the Eastern Conference and earning a spot in the NBA play-in tournament. However, the Hornets lost their lone game in the tournament to the Atlanta Hawks 132-106, eliminating them from playoff contention.

After the season ended, the Hornets fired head coach James Borrego, who spent four seasons coaching the team and amassing a 138-163 record. Former Orlando Magic head coach Steve Clifford was hired to replace Borrego. Clifford previously served as an assistant for the Magic, Knicks, and Houston Rockets.

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