The Charlotte Hornets have started securing permission to interview candidates for the franchise's vacant general manager position, league sources told ESPN.
Former Los Angeles Lakersgeneral manager Mitch Kupchak remains a front-runner to ultimately receive an offer to replace Rich Cho, but the Hornets are engaging in a wider search process and plan to start an initial round of conversations with candidates as soon as this week, league sources said.
Charlotte has received permission to speak with Philadelphia 76ersvice president of player personnel Marc Eversley, Houston Rocketsexecutive vice president of basketball operations Gersson Rosas, and Miami Heat assistant general manager Adam Simon, league sources told ESPN.
Charlotte has directly registered its interest with Kupchak, league sources said. Kupchak has a long-standing relationship with team owner Michael Jordan, with whom he shares University of North Carolina ties.
Kupchak won two NBA championships in 2009 and 2010 as Lakers GM. He was dismissed a year ago, replaced by Magic Johnson.
Assistant general manager Buzz Peterson is running the day-to-day operations for the Hornets now, and is expected to continue with the organization once a new GM is hired. Charlotte is hopeful to have a general manager in place sometime by the end of the regular season in mid-April, league sources said.
Eversley joined the Sixers in 2016 after three years with the Washington Wizards as vice president of player personnel, and the previous seven years with the Toronto Raptors as assistant GM. Eversley started his career with Nike, where he has maintained strong ties.
Rosas has worked 17 seasons with the Rockets, rising to prominence alongside general manager Daryl Morey in building a roster with the NBA's best current record. Rosas had a brief stint in 2013 as GM of the Dallas Mavericksbefore returning to Houston. Rosas also serves as USA Basketball's player personnel scout.
In his 23rd season in Miami, Simon has risen from an intern to assistant GM and has played a part in three Heat championships. As GM of the Sioux Falls Skyforce, Simon has been prolific in identifying and delivering prospects from the franchise's G League affiliate to the Heat's roster.
Sources: Hornets get permission to speak with three GM candidates