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Sixers reportedly plan to make outside-the-box big man signing in Kai Jones

Sixers reportedly plan to make outside-the-box big man signing in Kai Jones originally appeared on NBC Sports Philadelphia

The Sixers are set to make an outside-the-box late-season signing.

ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski reported the team plans to sign Kai Jones to a 10-day contract on Friday.

The Hornets waived Jones in October days after he requested a trade. Jones' social media posts had drawn concern and he was absent from training camp because of personal reasons.

Charlotte listed Jones at 6-foot-11, 221 pounds. He spent two years with the Hornets after playing two college seasons for Texas and being selected 19th overall in the 2021 NBA draft.

The 23-year-old appeared in 46 NBA games last season and averaged 3.4 points, 2.7 rebounds and 0.7 blocks in 12 minutes per contest. He also played in 38 G League regular-season games for the Greensboro Swarm over the past two years and posted 17.2 points, 9.9 rebounds and 2.1 blocks per game.

Jones has flashed major athletic talents, including long, smooth strides in the open floor and tremendous explosiveness as a shot blocker and dunker. Clearly, he's yet to prove he can reliably hold down a role in the NBA.

Since Joel Embiid’s left meniscus injury, the Sixers have gone 7-12. They’ve used Paul Reed and Mo Bamba as their primary centers and also occasionally employed small-ball options like KJ Martin, Tobias Harris and Nicolas Batum.

Asked on Feb. 9 whether Embiid’s injury impacted the team's plans at the trade deadline, Sixers president of basketball operations Daryl Morey said, “Yeah, I think our priority to get a big — which didn’t happen. But other than that, no. We wanted to add to our playoff rotation this year.”

The Sixers, who were widely rumored to have serious trade interest in Andre Drummond, ultimately acquired Buddy Hield and Cameron Payne. They later picked up Kyle Lowry in the buyout market as well.

Delaware Blue Coats standout Darius Bazley did not stick with the Sixers after signing a 10-day contract last month. He’s gone on to join the Jazz.

As for Jones, his last NBA appearance came over 11 months ago in Charlotte’s 2022-23 season finale. It just so happens that the Sixers will host the Hornets on Saturday night.