Report: Key Cavs exec in running for Hornets head of basketball operations job

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Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports

Cleveland Cavaliers general manager Mike Gansey reportedly is among those expected to be considered to replace Mitch Kupchak as an executive with the Charlotte Hornets.

Kupchak reportedly is stepping down from his role as Charlotte’s president of basketball operations to become an organizational adviser.

Gansey was promoted to Cavaliers general manager in February 2022, serving under president of basketball operations Koby Altman. The Ohio native had been promoted to assistant general manager in July 2017 after winning the NBA G League Executive of the Year award while with the Cleveland Charge.

The 41-year-old finished his college basketball career at the University of West Virginia and played two seasons in the G League.

Kupchak joined the Hornets in 2018 after a long run in the front office of the Los Angeles Lakers, where he won four NBA championships as general manager after capturing two as a player. The 69-year-old has won 10 NBA championships overall.

The Hornets got new ownership this summer when Michael Jordan sold majority interest in the team.

Gansey has helped the Cavs become one of the best teams in the Eastern Conference this season and was in the front office when they acquired Donovan Mitchell in a trade with the Utah Jazz prior to last season.

With an impressive core of Mitchell, Darius Garland, Evan Mobley and Jarrett Allen, the Cavs are in second place in the conference with a 35-16 record entering play Monday. They have won nine in a row and 17 out of 18 heading into their Monday game against the Philadelphia 76ers while gaining buzz as a team that could do serious damage in the playoffs.

Last season, the Cavs qualified for the playoffs for the first time since the 2017-18 campaign but were eliminated by the New York Knicks in five games in the first round. That loss reportedly had a “deep, psychological” impact on the team.

This offseason, they added Max Strus and Georges Niang in an effort to improve the offense which faltered at times during the postseason. Under the guidance of Gansey, the plan seems to be working, and the outlook for the rest of the regular season and a possible deep playoff run looks bright.

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Mike is a veteran journalist who has covered the NBA for almost three decades. One of his favorite sports memories is the Cavaliers-Nets playoff series from 1993.