As we twiddle our thumbs waiting for the return of NBA basketball, the Charlotte made a big front office decision.
The Charlotte Hornets announced Tuesday that Rich Cho’s contract will not be extended, and that the search for a new GM will begin immediately. Michael Jordan instead has his eyes on the former Los Angeles Lakers’ GM, Mitch Kupchak for a high-ranking role in the organization, according to the sources of ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.
Jordan wants to continue grooming assistant GM Buzz Peterson to be the foundation of the front office, and wants to use Mitch Kupchak as a partner and mentor for Peterson.
Peterson is a former roommate of Jordan’s at the University of North Carolina, and Kupchak is a former All-American at UNC. Many people believe Jordan wants to build his organization from the elite pedigree that comes out of North Carolina.
One name that appears to be coming to multiple sources, who is not out of the North Carolina family tree is that of Houston Rockets Gersson Rosas. Rosas is the Houston Rockets’ executive vice president of basketball operations.
Rich Cho has been the Hornet’s GM since the 2014 summer. Cho has also served as the only Asian American GM during his tenure. He has had over 20 years of front office experience in the league, so look for him to land a job somewhere soon. Under his control, the Hornets are looking like they are going to miss the playoffs for a second consecutive year, while having the 10th highest payroll in the NBA at $117 million. Their projected payroll for next season sits at a cool $119 million.
Head Coach Steve Clifford, who has been dealing with headache problems this season has one more year on his current deal. Clifford and Jordan have a close bond, but with such a high payroll, and no results, we could see this team start to cut ties and restart.
Mitch Kupchak has a history of building Championship caliber teams with the Los Angeles Lakers, but this will be a whole new animal if he accepts the position. The Hornets are full of albatross contracts, uncertainty at the coaching position, mediocre players, and a reluctance to trade their only star.