It’s prime season for NBA rumors involving trades and transactions with the trade deadline just hours away. Most rumors involve different players around the league, and we’ve seen a few coaching moves made in recent weeks as well.
But one other type of rumor popped up yesterday, hidden in his trade deadline column, John Hollinger of the Athletic wrote:
“...the hot rumor in league circles is that the Hornets’ new ownership will make a change in the front office after the trade deadline…”
This is quite an interesting nugget to drop, right as the Hornets enter into what will surely be a furious ~48 hours, hours that will likely have a drastic impact on the franchise one way or another.
Now, this isn’t exactly some crazy rumor coming out of left field; it always made sense that the new owners would come in, assess the situation, and make moves to bring in their own people fairly quickly. Not to mention, it’s not like Mitch Kupchak has done much during his Hornets tenure.
A “change in the front office” doesn’t necessarily mean Kupchak will be gone completely, but it stands to reason that we may see a younger, more analytics-driven mind enter the building soon. This would be a good move for the Hornets, who need to be more forward-thinking.
It’s hard to tell how much of the recent struggles in Charlotte’s roster can be attributed to the front office and how much blame should go to ownership, but both are culpable. The ownership has already changed (seemingly for the better), and now it’s time for the front office to follow suit (and probably the coach after that).
A creative GM with modern ideas about roster building would be a huge boon for the Hornets right now as they enter a critical few years for the team, on and off the court. The franchise will have big decisions to make in the near future, and they can’t afford to get them wrong.
The interesting thought of the moment is wondering if this makes the Hornets more or less likely to make big moves at the deadline. The team needs to nail this deadline, and needs to be able to walk away with some key assets going forward - the Rozier deal was a great start.
But if you know you’re about to make a big front office change are you giving this much control to a lame-duck regime? Again, we don’t know if Kupchak will be gone, or what else may happen, but either way, the timing of this news is a bit eyebrow-raising. I just hope the team knows what they are doing. The franchise has given me no reason to think that in the past, but here’s to hoping new ownership has a plan.