While former Los Angeles Lakers general manager Mitch Kupchak is prominent in chatter about the Charlotte Hornets’ front office opening, he won’t be the only candidate.
Another established name worth considering is Detroit Pistons general manager Jeff Bower.
Bower is No. 2 in the Pistons’ front office, working for Stan Van Gundy, who runs the basketball operation as coach and team president. According to a source familiar with the situation, Bower is under contract with the Pistons through the end of this season.
That same source said Bower, 56, would have interest. Bower worked in Charlotte previously, in the original Hornets’ front office.
He engineered probably the biggest trade this season in the NBA, acquiring five-time All-Star forward Blake Griffin from the Los Angeles Clippers. The major players Bower sent to the Clippers were forward Tobias Harris and guard Avery Bradley.
Bower spent 14 years in various jobs with the original Hornets (now the New Orleans Pelicans), starting in 1995. He worked with Bob Bass in the Hornets’ front office before the team moved to Louisiana in 2001. Bower later was promoted to Hornets general manager, and dealt with the team’s temporary relocation to Oklahoma City, due to Hurricane Katrina’s effect on New Orleans.
Van Gundy hired Bower to oversee the Pistons’ front office in June of 2014, after Van Gundy was offered control of that franchise’s basketball operation to induce him back to coaching. The Pistons have reached the playoffs one of Van Gundy’s three seasons there. Through Thursday’s games, the Pistons were 28-29, 1 1/2 games behind the Miami Heat for the eighth and final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference. Van Gundy said when he joined the Pistons that he anticipated this being his last NBA job.
Bonnell: 704-358-5129: @rick_bonnell