Latest: Hornets to hire Nets assistant general manager Jeff Peterson to run front office, per report

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The Charlotte Hornets will hire Brooklyn Nets assistant general manager Jeff Peterson as their lead executive, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported on Thursday. He will replace president and general manager Mitch Kupchak, who will move to an advisory role with the team.

Peterson, 35, has been with the Nets since 2019, after seven seasons with the Atlanta Hawks, in which he worked his way up from seasonal basketball operations assistant to assistant general manager.

This is the Hornets’ first major front-office hire since Rick Schnall and Gabe Plotkin bought a majority stake in the franchise from Michael Jordan. Previous to that, Schnall was a Hawks minority owner. 

Charlotte reportedly interviewed 12 candidates for the position. 

From ESPN:

Charlotte’s ownership is convinced of Peterson’s ability to be a long-term leader for the organization and deliver it the kind of player personnel acumen, relationships and deal-making ability with rival executives, player agents and players necessary to transform the Hornets into a formidable franchise.

Peterson will have an opportunity to rebuild a team that is currently 15-43, 13th in the Eastern Conference. Charlotte’s struggles have been due to a combination of injuries and roster management. This season, the Hornets waived both James Bouknight and Kai Jones, who were picked Nos. 11 and 19, respectively, in the 2021 NBA Draft. They also traded Terry Rozier, P.J. Washington and Gordon Hayward in future-focused deals.

Charlotte’s defense has improved immensely since the trade deadline. Before a ghastly 38-point loss against the Milwaukee Bucks on Tuesday, it had won five of six games.

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