Hornets president Kupchak stepping down
Charlotte Hornets president of basketball operations Mitch Kupchak is stepping down from his position and moving into an organizational adviser role once a permanent replacement is hired, the team announced Monday.
New team owners Rick Schnall and Gabe Plotkin are expected to name Kupchak's successor before the end of the regular season, sources told ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski.
"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 a statement. "Now feels like the appropriate time to begin the search for the next leader of our basketball operations."
The Hornets' shortlist is said to include multiple general managers, including Elton Brand of the Philadelphia 76ers, Trajan Langdon of the New Orleans Pelicans, Mike Gansey of the Cleveland Cavaliers, and Trent Redden of the Los Angeles Clippers.
Jeff Peterson of the Brooklyn Nets, Travis Schlenk of the Washington Wizards, and Wes Wilcox of the Sacramento Kings are among the assistant general managers Charlotte is considering, sources told Wojnarowski.
Kupchak spent six years with the Hornets. His notable moves include the selection of All-Star guard LaMelo Ball and Alabama standout Brandon Miller.
While Kupchak managed to shed the hefty salaries of Nicolas Batum and Cody Zeller, he signed Gordon Hayward to a four-year, $120-million contract, which didn't pan out due to several injuries. The club never made the playoffs during Kupchak's time in charge.
Prior to his Charlotte tenure, the New York native spent over three decades with the Los Angeles Lakers, winning seven NBA titles as an executive.