In news that will surprise few, Mitch Kupchak has agreed to a deal that will make him the Charlotte Hornets President of Basketball Operations and General Manager, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN:
Mitch Kupchak has agreed to a deal to become President and General Manager of the Charlotte Hornets, league sources told ESPN. The Hornets will hold a news conference early this week to introduce Kupchak.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) April 8, 2018
As reported earlier, Kupchak was formally offered the job last week. He beat out Houston’s Gersson Rosas (who appeared to be the ATH community’s favorite pick) and Philadelphia’s Marc Eversley for the job.
Kupchak was a long-time member of the Los Angeles Lakers front office, starting in 1986 as assistant general manager to Jerry West. While he succeeded West in 1994, Kupchak continued to work closely with West (who was working as Vice President of Operations) until 2000.
In his time as general manager, the Lakers won four championships, and he instrumented a number of big moves including the acquisitions of Karl Malone and Gary Payton in 2003, trading Shaquille O’Neal to the Heat in 2004 for Lamar Odom, Caron Butler, and mutliple picks, and trading for Pau Gasol in 2010. He also triggered the 2011 trade for Chris Paul that was later vetoed by the league.
His more recent decisions, however, have been less stellar, and include trading for Dwight Howard and Steve Nash (which in theory sounded good, but in reality was disastrous), along with signing Loul Deng to a five year, $72 million contract that the Lakers are still dealing with.
The hope is that he can learn from his mistakes, because he’ll have a job ahead of him to fix the Hornets mess of a cap situation.
We’ll have more this week after the team formally announces his hire, and after we get a chance to here from the man himself.