It was never much of a secret who the Charlotte Hornets wanted to take over as their next general manager when Rich Cho was let go earlier this season. The immediate reports were that former Lakers GM Mitch Kupchak was at the top of Michael Jordan’s list, and as so often was the case in Jordan’s basketball playing career, he will be getting what he wants.
On Sunday, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported that Kupchak had reached an agreement with Charlotte to take over as the team president and general manager.
The two sides had been closing in on a deal in the past week, per reports, so the news didn’t come as a major surprise. One would expect Kupchak to have inked himself a long-term deal to take over what will likely be an extended rebuilding project in Charlotte.
Kupchak is taking over a Hornets team that has some significant cap issues moving forward. They’re stymied from making big moves this offseason by big money deals held by Dwight Howard, Nicolas Batum, Marvin Williams, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, Cody Zeller, and Kemba Walker heading into this summer. Batum, Williams, and MKG each figure to be on their deals for two more years, with Williams and MKG having large player options for 2018-19, so Kupchak will need to work some magic to shed those contracts. Walker, sadly, is on the cheapest deal of the bunch and is the best of them all, so he’ll need to get paid next offseason.
It’s going to take some work from Kupchak, but he is clearly eager for the challenge, and his first task will be evaluating who they want to keep long term and who they want to try and move on from.