The Charlotte Hornets are now searching for a new president of basketball operations.
Hornets president Mitch Kupchak is stepping down from his post and transitioning to become an adviser with the organization, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski. The Hornets, who were recently sold to Rick Schnall and Gabe Plotkin, are expected to hire a new executive to replace Kupchak before the end of the season. Until that time, Kupchak will remain in his post before moving into an advisory capacity.
Kupchak, 69, played in the league for a decade. He was first selected by the Washington Bullets with the No. 13 overall pick in 1976 out of North Carolina. He spent his first five seasons there and won a title in the 1977-78 campaign before landing with the Los Angeles Lakers in 1981. He retired after the 1986 season after winning a pair of titles with the Lakers. In total, he averaged 10.2 points and 5.4 rebounds per game.
After retirement, Kupchak spent three decades in the Lakers’ front office, including 17 of which he was their general manager. He oversaw four NBA titles and six NBA Finals runs in Los Angeles before he made the jump to Charlotte in 2017. He is now in his seventh season with the Hornets, who are 11-41 heading into Monday’s game against the Indiana Pacers.
Michael Jordan sold controlling interest in the Hornets to Schnall and Plotkin in August for $3 billion. The new owners have since launched plans to renovate the Spectrum Center and build a new practice facility. The Hornets are expected to look at several current general managers to replace Kupchak, per Wojnarowski, including Philadelphia’s Elton Brand, New Orleans’ Trajan Langdon, Cleveland’s Mike Gansey and the Clippers’ Trent Redden, among others.