By RENALDO DORSETT
Tribune Sports Reporter
KAI Jones and his fellow 2021 NBA Draft Class of the Charlotte Hornets were all assigned to the NBA G League after playing sparingly through the first 13 games of the NBA season.
Jones made his debut with the Hornets’ G League affiliate, the Greensboro Storm, in Saturday night’s 111-104 loss to the Rio Grande Valley Vipers (Houston Rockets affiliate) at the Greensboro Coliseum Complex in Greensboro, North Carolina.
Starting at centre, he finished with 15 points, seven rebounds, five blocks and two assists in 34 minutes. He shot 6-9 from the field and made his only three-point attempt.
Fellow Hornets first round draft pick James Bouknight also made his debut for the Swarm alongside Jones.
Bouknight finished with a game high 33 points and six rebounds in 39 minutes.
The two players have played sparingly to this point of the season with the Hornets. Bouknight has logged only five appearances for the Hornets, totalling two rebounds in eight minutes of play. Jones has played five minutes in four games. The Swarm are celebrating their fifth season of G League basketball. The team’s roster also includes rookies JT Thor and Scottie Lewis and Hornets Summer League standout LiAngelo Ball, the 14th overall pick in the G League Draft.
In the preseason, Jones averaged 9.8 points and 9.4 rebounds in 28.1 minutes per game.
In his debut, he finished with 10 points, 10 rebounds, two assists, a blocked shot in his team’s 93-86 loss to the Portland Trail Blazers. He also added nine points and a team high 16 rebounds in the Hornets’ 80-79 loss to the Toronto Raptors.
The NBA’s official minor league, the NBA G League prepares players, coaches, officials, trainers and front-office staff for the NBA while acting as the league’s research and development laboratory. Featuring 29 teams, 28 with direct affiliations to NBA franchises for 2021-22, the league offers elite professional basketball at an affordable price in a fun, family-friendly atmosphere.
This season, teams will compete in the innovative Showcase Cup, a 14-game competition culminating at the NBA G League Winter Showcase from December 19-22. After the Showcase Cup, team records will reset and a 36-game regular season will begin with teams split up into Eastern and Western Conferences. The NBA G League Playoffs presented by Google Pixel commence on April 5 and will conclude with the NBA G League Finals presented by YouTube TV.