Sources: Indiana is hiring Charlotte executive Chad Buchanan as GM. He'll work under President of Basketball Operations Kevin Pritchard.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@WojVerticalNBA) June 29, 2017
Buchanan served as Assistant GM for the Hornets for the past three seasons. Prior to Charlotte, he spent 10 seasons with the Portland Trailblazers, working as Director of College Scouting and as Active General Manager during the 2011-12 season.
This is where the connection lies — Buchanan worked for Kevin Pritchard in Portland who was GM at the time. Now that Pritchard is taking over as President of Basketball Operations, he’s bringing in a familiar face with Buchanan.
Buchanan’s impact with the Hornets is hard to gauge, since we don’t know how much influence he had in decision making. Assistant GMs are certainly one of the higher ranking officials when it comes to scouting, drafting, etc, but final decisions typically fall on the general manager. In any case, he now gets a chance to run things in Indiana.
That won’t be easy. With Paul George’s departure all but confirmed, Buchanan will be tasked with finding a deal that warrants a return the team can use to re-build. How the trade pans out could ultimately determine his future as general manager.
The timing for Charlotte isn’t perfect with free agency starting tomorrow night, but by now their free agent targets are likely set, and more importantly, Rich Cho is still around. They might be short staffed, but things could be worse, they could be without a GM altogether.
Stay tuned for any news regarding an official announcement of Buchanan’s depature, and his potential replacement.