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On Thursday morning, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported that the Charlotte Hornets are expected to hire Brooklyn Nets executive Jeff Peterson as their next head of basketball operations.

Charlotte announced earlier in February that Mitch Kupchak, head of basketball operations since 2017, is stepping down to be an “organizational advisor.” Among the lowlights during his tenure were blowout losses in the NBA Play-In. 

Peterson, 35, is a known commodity for co-chairs Gabe Plotkin and Rick Schnall. He worked from intern to assistant GM while Schnall was a minority owner with the Atlanta Hawks. 

Since taking over majority control from Michael Jordan last August, Plotkin and Schnall have been working to revamp a franchise that will miss the NBA playoffs for the eighth straight season. At this season’s trade deadline, Charlotte dealt veterans Terry Rozier, Gordon Hayward and P.J. Washington.

Despite their putrid 15-43 record through Wednesday, Charlotte is 5-2 since Feb. 10 after acquiring Tre Mann, Vasilije Micic and Davis Bertans from Oklahoma City and Charlotte natives Grant Williams and Seth Curry from Dallas. 

Not only are fans seeing progress in the win column, but head coach Steve Clifford said he can tell the difference in this group of guys on the floor. 

“Right now, everybody’s trying,” Clifford said on Feb. 26. “If they try hard and have a feel for the game, you can be OK.”

Peterson is young for an NBA executive, with his predecessor Kupchak almost twice his age (69). But he has experience helping acquire big-name players thanks to his involvement in bringing the “Big Three” of Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving and James Harden to Brooklyn. 

Those stars didn’t succeed on the court, but Peterson’s experience working with high-profile players is invaluable to a franchise struggling to attract top-end talent in free agency. 

It will take time to determine if Peterson is a good hire for Charlotte. But, so far, Plotkin and Schnall have built up enough goodwill from fans to give Peterson a shot to succeed. 

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