NBA rumors: Trae market forming, Hornets front office overhaul, Wolves help on the way

  • Marcus Morris Sr. 'leaning toward' signing with Timberwolves
  • Hornets' president Mitch Kupchak transitions to advisory role
  • Trae Young could be the Hawks point guard traded next offseason

Trae Young, Atlanta Hawks
Trae Young, Atlanta Hawks / Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports
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NBA rumors: Mitch Kupchak out as Hornets president of basketball ops

In a shocking bit of Monday news, Mitch Kupchak is officially stepping down as the Charlotte Hornets' president of basketball operations. He will move into an advisory role, per ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski, "setting up an immediate search" for the next GM.

Among the expected candidates for the new lead role in Charlotte's front office are Pelicans GM Trajan Langdon, Nets assistant GM Jeff Peterson, Cavaliers GM Mike Gansey, and 76ers GM Elton Brand. Others will be under consideration as well. The Hornets' front office has been a mess since Kupchak arrived in 2018. His crowning achievement was the selection of LaMelo Ball in the 2020 NBA Draft, but Charlotte has since whiffed on several key picks and consistently struggled to allocate financial resources.

It's impossible to deny the scope of Kupchak's achievement over almost three decades in the Lakers' front office. He won seven championships as an executive and became known for key additions such as Karl Malone, Pau Gasol, and Ron Artest. Unfortunately, it's much harder to manage the Hornets, who don't attract star free agents or trade demands. Kupchak is an all-time great in the front office, but his time has passed.

The Hornets are in a good spot, however. Kupchak aced his final trade deadline, squeezing assets out of Gordon Hayward's awful contract and landing juicy first-round picks in exchange for P.J. Washington and Terry Rozier. The Brandon Miller pick also looks awfully good right now. So, it wasn't all a complete and utter failure. But, the Hornets are starting to feel the pressure to succeed before Ball becomes discontent and the fanbase becomes disenchanted. It's a bit strange to allow Kupchak to run the trade deadline if he was trending toward a demotion, but all the same, it's time for the Hornets to get fresh blood in the front office.