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Nick Nurse Reveals Sixers’ Plans for Kai Jones

What's the Philadelphia 76ers plan for Kai Jones over the next week?

On Friday afternoon, the Philadelphia 76ers announced that the team was bringing on the veteran center, Kai Jones.

The 23-year-old former first-round pick lands with the Sixers’ organization temporarily, as he signed a 10-Day contract. As soon as the Sixers made the acquisition official, the team assigned the former 19th overall pick to their G League affiliate, the Delaware Blue Coats.

Jones picked up an immediate start with the Blue Coats, checking in for 30 minutes against the Birmingham Squadron on Friday night. During that time, Jones made all but one of his seven field goals, producing 14 points. Along with his scoring, Jones collected eight rebounds, five assists, five steals, and one block.

The Sixers returned to action on Saturday night to face Jones’ former squad, the Charlotte Hornets. Although it was the first matchup for Philly since Jones signed with the Sixers, the veteran big man wouldn’t get the call-up. Instead, Jones continued competing with the Coats for the night.

According to Sixers head coach Nick Nurse, that will remain a trend as the center’s 10-Day contract progresses.

“I think we just wanted to get him ten days down there,” Nurse said on Saturday night. “After those ten days, we’ll re-evaluate and take it from there.”

Depending on how Jones performs at the G League level, he could earn himself a second 10-Day contract, which could lead the Sixers to taking the next steps and allowing him to pick up some minutes on the main roster.

If the team isn’t left encouraged by his performances with Delaware during this stretch, then they could move on when the short-term contract expires.

While Jones has a small sample size to show for, Nurse is encouraged by what he put on display on Friday night.

“I went up [to Wilmington] last night and watched him,” Nurse said. “He did some good things. He’s got some size, he’s got some athleticism. I don’t know how many dunks he had last night, probably like five or six, and a couple of them were pretty important. Like, tip-back and rebound dunks. He seemed to play his role really well. He didn’t seem to try to do too much. He rebounds, he runs, he really screens, he moves it to the next action over and over again. For his first game, that wasn’t too bad.”

The Sixers could use some more depth at the center spot in the absence of Joel Embiid. Jones has experience playing at the NBA level with the Hornets, but hasn’t competed since the 2022-2023 NBA season. Prior the current season, Jones was waived in the offseason.

Perhaps, a couple of solid runs with the Blue Coats could land him a chance to state his case to earn a contract with the Sixers until the end of the season.