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Kai Jones to miss Hornets camp, will be away from team indefinitely

Garrett Ellwood / National Basketball Association / Getty

Charlotte Hornets center Kai Jones will miss training camp due to personal reasons, the team announced Saturday.

The Hornets stated there's no timetable for his return beyond camp, which begins in early October.

Charlotte, though, is maintaining constant communication with the 22-year-old, according to Shams Charania of The Athletic.

Jones, the 19th overall pick in the 2021 draft, has drawn attention in recent weeks due to his social media activity. In an Instagram Live session earlier this month, Jones acted erratically while telling viewers that he believed the Hornets wouldn't trade him. After clips went viral over concerns of Jones' bizarre behavior, the Hornets forward denied that he was intoxicated while on stream.

In other posts on X, formerly known as Twitter, Jones asserted that he was better than teammates LaMelo Ball and Brandon Miller and said he would best Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James one-on-one.

When asked Tuesday about Jones' social media activity, Hornets head coach Steve Clifford confirmed the team had addressed the matter but didn't elaborate further.

"We are aware of the social media posts, and it's a situation that's been handled internally," Clifford said, courtesy of The Charlotte Observer's Roderick Boone.

The Bahamian center has struggled to crack the Hornets' rotation through two seasons in the NBA. He played sparingly in only 46 games in 2022-23, averaging 3.4 points and 2.7 rebounds in just 12 minutes per contest.

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