NBA Rumors: LA Clippers were targeting Kai Jones before considering other options

Charlotte Hornets v Brooklyn Nets
NBA Rumors: Kai Jones previously considered by LA Clippers before resorting to other options

After Kai Jones was waived by the Charlotte Hornets back on Oct. 11, 2023, the forward was reportedly gaining interest from the LA Clippers, as per Jake Fischer on the latest episode of Yahoo! Sports' 'No Cap Room' podcast.

Fischer also reported that Jones' "mental or physical condition" doesn't seem to be fit for playing conditions in the NBA right now.

"The Clippers, they even according to my sources brought in one Kai Jones for a visit of some capacity, who I’m not going to say too much on the former Charlotte Hornets first-round pick but doesn’t appear to be in mental or physical condition to be playing an NBA game right now. So I just say that to say that shows the breadth of the Clippers search and I think it’s a much better outcome that Daniel Theis is on this team," he said. (Via HoopsHype)

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All of this started when Jones started showing erratic behavior on social media. He went live before on Instagram where he was speaking in an incomprehensible manner, prompting NBA fans to question if he was doing okay.

Following this, he soon started comparing his game to other players on the Hornets roster (LaMelo Ball and Brandon Miller), as per The Associated Press' Steve Reed. He mentioned that he had a higher field goal percentage and that both players couldn't even guard him on the court.

Originally, he was reported to be "away" from the team with no finalized timetable for a return as he ended up missing training camp due to "personal reasons," as per The Athletic's Shams Charania.

The Charlotte Hornets also released a formal statement addressing his situation and the decision of the organization:

"The Charlotte Hornets announced today that forward/center Kai Jones will not participate in Training Camp due to personal reasons. There is not currently a timetable for his return to the team. Out of respect for the personal nature of the situation, the Hornets will not have any additional public comments regarding the matter at this time."

Following this, Kai Jones soon posted a trade request comment via X (formerly Twitter), resulting in being waived by the Hornets.

In the two seasons that he played in Charlotte, Jones averaged 2.7 points (56.7% shooting, including 23.8% from 3-point range) and 2.0 rebounds per game.

LA Clippers resorting to other acquisitions post-Kai Jones interest

In Fischer's report, he also mentioned that after the LA Clippers passed on Kai Jones, the organization resorted to the acquisition of Joshua Primo and a planned signing of Daniel Theis. Primo was signed to a two-year $3.96 million contract, as per USA Today's Michael Scotto.

Meanwhile, Theis is expected to join the LA Clippers' roster after agreeing to a contract buyout with the Indiana Pacers. ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski reported that the former Pacers big man has $7.8 million left on his $9.1 million deal. He is expected to sign a prorated veteran minimum with the Pacers upon the clearing of waivers.

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Edited by Pritha Ghosh
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