Friday, June 21 2024
Charlotte Hornets Introduce Draft Picks - Presser

Charlotte Hornets Introduce Draft Picks – Presser

From the moment Michael Jordan sold his majority stake in the Charlotte Hornets to financiers Gabe Plotkin and Rick Schnall, the question in league circles has been when is the organizational overhaul coming, not if there would be one. It seems we have reached that moment.

Mitch Kupchak is stepping aside as Charlotte Hornets GM, moving into a role as an organizational advisor, and the search for a new GM is underway, a story broken by Adrian Wojnarowski at ESPN that the team has since confirmed.

“As Mitch nears the end of his contract, we agreed that now was the right time to begin the search in order to put the organization in the best position for the upcoming offseason,” Plotkin and Schnall said in a statement announcing the change. “We’re excited to begin the hiring process for our new head of basketball operations as we continue to shape this franchise and work towards building a team for long-term sustainable success. “We will take a deliberate approach to the hiring process and will focus on making the best decision for the organization’s long-term future.”

“After signing my extension two years ago, the plan has always been for me to move to an advisory role after this season when my contract ends in June,” Kupchak said in that same statement. “Now feels like the appropriate time to begin the search for the next leader of our basketball operations. I want to thank Michael Jordan for hiring me and bringing me to Charlotte. “I’d like to thank Rick and Gabe for their support since becoming majority owners, and I appreciate the relationship that we have developed. I really like the core of our team, including our additions at the trade deadline, and I’m excited to watch their continued growth and development. The Hornets are in good hands with Rick and Gabe, and I look forward to helping any way I can. I believe our future is very bright.”

Wojnarowski lists some possible successors to Kupchak: New Orleans GM Trajan Langdon, Brooklyn assistant GM Jeff Peterson, Cleveland GM Mike Gansey, and Philadelphia GM Elton Brand, but others will be in the mix as well.

Kupchak’s tenure had some positives, but the Hornets never made the playoffs during Kupchak’s time in charge (they made the play-in twice, in 2021 and 2022, but didn’t advance out to the final eight). He took over a team from Rich Cho that was nearing the end of the Kemba Walker era and had some bad contracts on the books — Nic Batum and Bismack Biyombo, among others — and he cleaned up the financials. However, Kupchak’s big free agent signing was an overpay bet on Gordon Hayward‘s health that did not work out (Hayward was traded to Oklahoma City at this last deadline). Kupchack’s big coaching hire was James Borrego, but after four seasons he was let go and replaced by defense-first coach Steve Clifford (who is expected to be let go after the season, according to league sources).

Kupchack’s draft record was hit-and-miss. The hits were LaMelo Ball and Brandon Miller, but he misfired on James Bouknight (who was just waived this past week) as well as guys such as Kai Jones and Scottie Lewis.

The next GM will need to start a player development program, build up depth on the roster and see if they can build a winner around Brandon Miller and Ball (the latter of whom has a five-year max extension that kicks in next season).

Source: Yahoo Sports


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