After the Charlotte Hornets decided to not renew the contract of current general manager Rich Cho, many thought owner Michael Jordan would immediately pivot to former Los Angeles Lakers GM Mitch Kupchak as a replacement. That apparently won’t be the case.
According to ESPN.com’s Adrian Wojnarowski, the Hornets have received permission to interview at least three other candidates, suggesting they’re prepared to stage a more exhaustive search:
The Charlotte Hornets have started securing permission to interview candidates for the franchise’s vacant general manager position, league sources told ESPN.
Former Los Angeles Lakers general manager Mitch Kupchak remains a front-runner to ultimately receive an offer to replace Rich Cho, but the Hornets are engaging in a wider search process and plan to start an initial round of conversations with candidates as soon as this week, league sources said.
Charlotte has received permission to speak with Philadelphia 76ers vice president of player personnel Marc Eversley, Houston Rockets executive vice president of basketball operations Gersson Rosas, and Miami Heat assistant general manager Adam Simon, league sources told ESPN.
Making anything of this is difficult, because we don’t know what the Hornets are after. Do they want someone who can pilot a from-the-studs rebuild? Are they looking for someone to improve the status quo without tearing down the roster? Do they desire someone who will appeal to free agents? Will their next GM have the freedom to make the call on whether to rebuild or try pushing forward with this exact nucleus? Are the Hornets themselves open to picking a new direction based on the interviews and intended plans from their top candidates?
Electing not to trade Kemba Walker at the deadline implies the Hornets are looking for someone open to soldiering on with the present core. And that doesn’t make this job very appealing. The Hornets haven neither cap space nor many desirable trade assets, and Walker is slated for free agency in 2019.
If they’re not willing to grant Cho’s successor any real latitude when it comes to choosing a direction, they might be hard-pressed to find top names—like Marc Eversley in Philly and Gersson Rosas in Houston—who wish to assume responsibility for their future.