The Charlotte Hornets have formally offered their vacant general manager position to the longtime Los Angeles Lakers executive Mitch Kupchak, according to three people with knowledge of the offer.
The Hornets, who are owned by Michael Jordan, are confident they will soon seal a new contract with Kupchak to take over their basketball operations and are progressing toward a deal, according to the people, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the negotiations publicly.
Kupchak, like Jordan a former collegiate star at the University of North Carolina, quickly emerged as the favorite for the post after Charlotte announced in late February that their former general manager, Rich Cho, who was in the final year of his contract, would not be retained.
Neither the Hornets nor Kupchak have responded to repeated requests for comment.
Cho was hired as the Hornets’ general manager in 2011 and became the lead voice in Charlotte’s front office in 2014. The Hornets are likely to miss the playoffs for the third time in the five-season tenure of Coach Steve Clifford.
Kupchak’s lengthy run with the Lakers, which spanned nearly four decades and began when he joined them as a player in 1981, included 30 years in the front office and 17 as the head of the Lakers’ front office until his abrupt dismissal in February 2017 — 19 days after Magic Johnson returned to the Lakers in an executive role.
The Lakers won four championships with Kupchak in charge — two of them after his acquisition of Pau Gasol in a February 2008 trade with the Memphis Grizzlies.