5:14pm: The Hornets have officially named Kupchak their president of basketball operations and general manager, per a team press release.
3:58pm: The Hornets and Mitch Kupchak have agreed to a deal that will make him the president and general manager of the organization, tweets ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski. A press conference will be held sometime next week to introduce Kupchak, Wojnarowski notes.
A report earlier this week noted that the Hornets formally offered the vacant position to Kupchak. In addition to Kupchak, the Hornets interviewed several other candidates, including Rockets executive VP of basketball operations Gersson Rosas, Sixers VP of player personnel Marc Eversley and Heat assistant GM Adam Simon.
Charlotte started their search for a new general manager after informing Rich Cho he wouldn’t be retained back in February. Cho, who was also the GM of the Trail Blazers, took over the job for Charlotte in 2011.
Kupchak, a three-time NBA champion as a player, took over the Lakers’ basketball operations job in the summer of 2000. He helped lead Los Angeles to four NBA championships in that stretch. Kupchak revitalized the team with a major trade for Pau Gasol in 2008, which led to back-to-back titles in 2009 and 2010.
In recent years, the Lakers entered a rebuilding stage with acquisitions such as Steve Nash and Dwight Howard not panning out. Kupchak was relieved of his duties in February 2017 as the Lakers underwent a front office overhaul.
As Wojnarowski writes, Kupchak and Hornets owner Michael Jordan — who favored Kupchak for the role — have a longstanding relationship built from their ties to the University of North Carolina and late coach Dean Smith.
Kupchak will be tasked with building a playoff-caliber team as the Hornets will miss the postseason for the second straight season. He will also have to work under monetary confines as the Hornets are capped out with every player except two ( Michael Carter-Williams and Treveon Graham) under contract for 2018/19.