Sources – Hornets president Mitch Kupchak is moving into an advisor role
Charlotte Hornets president of basketball operations Mitch Kupchak will step down to become an organizational advisor, sources told ESPN on Monday morning, paving the way for the franchise to begin an immediate search for a new president of basketball operations.
There is an expectation that new owners Rick Schnall and Gabe Plotkin will name a new basketball executive before the end of the regular season, which would allow Kupchak to remain in his day-to-day role until his successor takes over, sources said. .
Kupchak, 69, will continue a remarkably successful career that included 10 championships as an executive and player.
The Hornets’ search is expected to focus on several current general managers, sources said, including Philadelphia’s Elton Brand, New Orleans’ Trajan Langdon, Cleveland’s Mike Gansey and the Los Angeles Clippers’ Trent Redden. Brooklyn’s Jeff Peterson, Washington’s Travis Schlenk and Sacramento’s Wes Wilcox are among the assistant general managers who will be considered, sources said. Peterson, Schlenk and Wilcox worked with the Atlanta Hawks when Schnall was a minority owner of the franchise.
Schnall and Plotkin have been driving major changes and upgrades to the Hornets’ infrastructure since purchasing a majority stake in the team from Michael Jordan for $3 billion in August.
The Hornets have made several roster moves in recent weeks to begin accumulating draft assets and young players for the rebuild, including two future first-round picks in trades that sent Terry Rozier and P.J. Washington. Rookie forward Brandon Miller showed promise for an All-Star future.
The franchise also embarked on a $275 million renovation of the arena and planned a new $60 million practice facility. The Hornets are 11-41 and have been largely decimated by injuries this season.
Kupchak will complete his sixth season as Charlotte’s top basketball executive, a run that included drafting Miller and 2021 NBA Rookie of the Year and All-Star guard LaMelo Ball.
Before joining the Hornets in 2018, Kupchak spent 30 years in the Lakers’ front office, including 17 years as a general manager with four NBA championships and six Western Conference titles. Kupchak won seven titles as an executive, two as a player with the Lakers and one as a player in Washington.