Report: Mitch Kupchak to Hornets as GM is ‘done deal’

When the Charlotte Hornets fired general manager Rich Cho, the team was expected to pursue Mitch Kupchak as the replacement. That has become a reality.

Marc Stein of the New York Times reported Charlotte has “formally offered” the position to Kupchak. And according to Rick Bonnell of the Charlotte Observer, it’s “basically a done deal.”

The latter is no surprise, since jobs of this magnitude are rarely officially turned down. Typically, conversations fall short of “formally offered” because it becomes clear the candidate is not interested prior to that stage.

Nevertheless, the reports confirm the return of Kupchak to the NBA. After a 10-year playing career, he immediately joined the Los Angeles Lakers front office. He enjoyed seven championship runs as an executive before getting fired in February 2017.

Kupchak will now be responsible for turning around a cash-strapped franchise in a high-pressure spot.

Kemba Walker is a true superstar guard, but he’s entering the final year of his contract. If the Hornets — who are eliminated from the 2017-18 postseason chase — do not substantially improve, Kupchak will be faced with determining the franchise’s direction within the first 10 months on the job.