Hornets finalizing deal with Nets’ Jeff Peterson as head of basketball operations, AP source says

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CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — The Charlotte Hornets are finalizing a deal to make Brooklyn Nets assistant general manager Jeff Peterson their new head of basketball operations, according to a person familiar with the situation.

The person said the deal is expected to be completed in the next few days. The person spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity Thursday because the details of the contract are still being worked out.

The 35-year-old Peterson will replace Mitch Kupchak, who announced earlier this month that he is stepping down as president of basketball operations and general manager and moving to an advisory role.

Peterson would inherit a Hornets team that has not been to the playoffs since the 2016-17 season — the longest drought in the NBA — and is assured of another losing season this year with 15-43 record.

The Hornets traded away three key players in Gordon Hayward, Terry Rozier and P.J. Washington prior to the trade deadline as part of a rebuild.

The decision to hire Peterson is the first major front office move for new owners Rick Schnall and Gabe Plotkin, who purchased the team last year from six-time NBA champion Michael Jordan.

Peterson joined the Nets front office in 2019 as the second in command. He was part of a Nets front office staff that traded for James Harden and signed free agents Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving. The team also drafted Cameron Thomas in 2021.

Prior to his time in Brooklyn, Peterson spent five seasons in the Atlanta Hawks’ front office as a basketball operations coordinator, scout and assistant GM. That is where Peterson met Schnall, who previously served as a minority owner of the Hawks before purchasing the Hornets.

Peterson also has a history with Hornets coach Steve Clifford, who spent time as a coaching consultant with the Nets in 2021-22 before rejoining Charlotte.

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AP NBA: https://apnews.com/NBA

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