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Charlotte Hornets President of Basketball Operations & General Manager Mitch Kupchak announced today that the team has acquired center Bismack Biyombo and two second-round draft picks from the Orlando Magic.

In a three-team trade with the Orlando Magic and Chicago Bulls, Charlotte received center Bismack Biyombo and two future second-round picks in the 2019 and 2020 NBA Drafts while sending Timofey Mozgov to the Magic and Julyan Stone to the Bulls.

Additionally, Orlando received guard Jerian Grant from Chicago in the deal.

Biyombo played in all 82 regular-season games with Orlando last season (25 starts), averaging 5.7 points, 5.7 rebounds and a team-high 1.2 blocks in 18.2 minutes per contest. With 95 blocked shots in 2017-18, he ranked 19th in the NBA. Biyombo scored in double figures 14 times, including a career-high 21 points at Washington on Jan. 12. He also recorded seven double-doubles last season.

The seventh-year center began his NBA career in Charlotte after being selected by Sacramento in the first round (seventh overall) of the 2011 NBA Draft and sent to Charlotte in a draft night trade. Biyombo has appeared in 529 career NBA regular-s‎eason games (210 starts) with Charlotte, Toronto and Orlando, averaging 5.0 points, 6.5 rebounds and 1.4 blocks in 20.9 minutes per game, while shooting .513 (992-1933) from the floor. He has also played in 23 career NBA playoff contests (11 starts), averaging 5.7 points, 8.6 rebounds and 1.3 blocks in 24.1 minutes per game.

Biyombo, who played for Charlotte from 2011-14, remains fifth in Hornets history in career blocks (443) and blocks per game (1.6), and ranks seventh in career offensive rebounds (571).

Mozgov was acquired by the Hornets in a trade with the Brooklyn Nets on July 6, 2018. Mozgov holds career averages of 6.8 points and 4.9 rebounds in 18.0 minutes per game over the course of eight NBA seasons with the New York Knicks, Denver Nuggets, Cleveland Cavaliers, Los Angeles Lakers and Brooklyn Nets.

Stone (6-6, 200) has played in the NBA for four seasons with career averages of 1.1 points, 1.1 rebounds and 1.1 assists per game. He went undrafted in 2011, but signed with the Denver Nuggets as a free agent and made his NBA debut on Jan. 11, 2012. Stone has also seen time with the Toronto Raptors (2013-14), and most recently with the Hornets, where he played in 23 games in the 2017-18 season. He also has G League experience with the Idaho Stampede, Iowa Energy and Greensboro Swarm.

Hornets sign rookie Devonte` Graham

The Charlotte Hornets have signed rookie guard Devonte’ Graham.

The Hornets acquired the rights to Graham, the 34th overall selection in the 2018 NBA Draft, from the Atlanta Hawks in a draft night trade. Graham, a 6-2 guard from Kansas, was the 2017-18 Big 12 Player of the Year and a consensus First Team All-American after averaging 17.3 points, 7.2 assists, 4.0 rebounds and 1.6 steals in 37.8 minutes in 39 games played as a senior at Kansas. He led the Big 12 and ranked ninth nationally in minutes played, ranked second in the Big 12 and sixth nationally in assists, ranked second in the Big 12 in assist-to-turnover ratio (2.6) and ranked third in the Big 12 in scoring. The native of Raleigh, North Carolina, set school single-season records for total assists (282) and minutes played (1,474), and was a finalist for the Naismith Trophy, Wooden Award and Bob Cousy Point Guard of the Year Award.

Graham concluded his four-year career with the Jayhawks ranked second in school history in minutes played (4,498), second in three-point field goals (296), fifth in assists (632), seventh in steals (197), 11th in three-point percentage (.409) and 13th in scoring (1,750). During his four seasons, Kansas won four Big 12 regular-season titles and two Big 12 Tournaments and reached three NCAA Tournament Elite Eights and one Final Four.

The Charlotte Hornets today acquired a 2019 second-round draft pick and cash considerations from the Oklahoma City Thunder in exchange for the draft rights to Hamidou Diallo, the 45th overall pick in the 2018 NBA Draft.

The Hornets acquired Diallo’s rights, along with center Timofey Mozgov, a 2021 second-round draft pick and cash considerations, from the Brooklyn Nets earlier today in exchange for Dwight Howard.

Diallo (6-5, 198), was originally selected by the Brooklyn Nets with the 45th overall pick in the 2018 NBA Draft. The Kentucky product started all 37 games as a redshirt freshman and averaged 10.0 points, 3.6 rebounds and 1.2 assists in 24.8 minutes per game and scored in double figures in 16 games.

A native of Queens, N.Y., Diallo represented the U.S. in the 2017 FIBA U19 World Cup and 2016 FIBA Americas U18 Championship.

The Charlotte Hornets have acquired center Timofey Mozgov, the draft rights to Hamidou Diallo (45th overall pick in the 2018 NBA Draft), a 2021 second-round draft pick and cash considerations from the Brooklyn Nets in exchange for center Dwight Howard.

According to multiple reports, the Nets will likely buy out Howard’s contract. After that, Howard may sign with the Wizards.

UPDATE: The Nets have waived Howard.

An eight-year NBA veteran, Mozgov has played in 454 career games (273 starts) for the New York Knicks, Denver Nuggets, Cleveland Cavaliers, Los Angeles Lakers and Brooklyn Nets with career averages of 6.8 points and 4.9 rebounds in 18.0 minutes per game. The 7-1 center was a member of Cleveland’s NBA Championship team in 2015-16. In his lone season with the Nets in 2017-18, Mozgov appeared in 31 games (13 starts) and averaged 4.2 points and 3.2 rebounds per contest.

Howard originally joined the Hornets on June 20, 2017, in a trade with the Atlanta Hawks. He played in and started 81 games in Charlotte, averaging 16.6 points and 12.5 rebounds in 30.4 minutes per game.

The Charlotte Hornets have declined to give Treveon Graham and Marcus Paige qualifying offers, it was announced today by President of Basketball Operations & General Manager Mitch Kupchak. Both players will become unrestricted free agents on July 1.

Graham, a 6-5 guard/forward from Virginia Commonwealth, appeared in 90 games for the Hornets during the last two seasons (2016-17 and 2017-18), averaging 3.7 points and 1.6 rebounds in 13.8 minutes per game. He was originally signed by Charlotte as a free agent on July 26, 2016.

Paige signed a two-way contract with Charlotte on Aug. 2, 2017. In 2017-18, the 6-1 guard from North Carolina appeared in five games with the Hornets, averaging 2.4 points, 0.8 rebounds and 0.6 assists in 5.6 minutes per contest. He also appeared in 46 games (39 starts) for the Hornets G League affiliate, the Greensboro Swarm, averaging 15.2 points, 4.5 assists and 3.0 rebounds in 32.6 minutes per game.

Should the Hornets trade Kemba Walker?

The Hornets are going nowhere fast. They get big production from Kemba Walker, but Dwight Howard is on his way out, and the rest of the squad is mostly supporting cast material. (A healthy Nic Batum can be excellent. But anyway:) Should the Hornets trade Walker? Here’s the Charlotte Observer with some opinion:

Next season will be the last on Kemba’s contract. He will make $12 million, which is to the NBA what $8 an hour is to the rest of North Carolina. He is a blue-light special bargain. He never will be again.

If the Hornets don’t trade him, they could lose him after next season. He can walk, and his employer gets nothing.

If the Hornets retain Kemba, he presumably will insist on a five-year contract. No other team can sign him to more than four. And he will want huge money, Nic Batum money, and he has earned it. The Hornets signed Batum to a five-year $120 million contract.

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The Charlotte Hornets have acquired the draft rights to forward Miles Bridges (12th overall pick) from the Los Angeles Clippers in exchange for the draft rights to guard Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (11th overall pick) and two future second-round draft picks during tonight’s 2018 NBA Draft.

Bridges, a 6-7 forward from Michigan State, was a unanimous 2017-18 All-Big Ten First Team selection and he also earned 2017-18 consensus Second Team All-American honors. He led Michigan State in scoring in scoring (17.0 ppg), ranked second in rebounding (7.0 rpg) and third in assists (2.7 apg) during the 2017-18 campaign. Following his sophomore campaign, he was a finalist for the Julius Erving Small Forward of the Year Award, given to the top men’s collegiate small forward, and a top-10 finalist for the Naismith National Player of the Year. He was the first Michigan State freshman or sophomore player to average at least 17.0 points per game since Shawn Respert in 1992-93.

As a freshman in 2016-17, the Flint, Mich. native was the Big Ten Freshman of the year after averaging 16.9 points, 8.3 rebounds and 2.1 assists in 28 contests. He was the only Division-I freshman in the nation in the last 25 years to average at least 16.0 points, 8.0 rebounds and 2.0 assists and return for his sophomore season.

The Charlotte Hornets have named Chris Kroeger the team’s new radio play-by-play broadcaster.

A Charlotte native and local sports radio talk show host, Kroeger hosted the show “Prime Time” on Hornets flagship station WFNZ these past four years.

He has also been a member of the team’s radio broadcasts for the past three seasons, working as the pregame show host and sideline reporter.

Kroeger is taking the place of Steve Martin, whose legendary career ended in retirement after the 2017-18 season. Martin’s NBA broadcasting career lasted 30 years.

“We are thrilled to have Chris join the Charlotte Hornets on a full-time basis as our new radio play-by-play broadcaster,” said Hornets President and Vice Chairman Fred Whitfield. “Chris is a very talented broadcaster who brings a wide array of skills to our organization, while also being extremely passionate and knowledgeable about both our team and the NBA. He has cultivated a tremendous audience at WFNZ – one that shares his enthusiasm about Hornets basketball – and his joining our team only strengthens our relationship with our flagship station. I know the fans of Charlotte are looking forward to his expanded role as the new ‘voice of the Hornets.’”

“As someone that grew up in Charlotte, my earliest and greatest memories as a sports fan came at the Charlotte Coliseum and watching the Hornets,” said Kroeger. “Steve Martin narrated so many of those memories on radio and television. It truly is the opportunity of a lifetime to be his successor and to broadcast a new era of Hornets basketball for the next generation of fans. I can’t thank WFNZ enough for allowing me to build and connect with Charlotte sports fans over the last few years and I’m excited to continue to grow that relationship with the Hornets.”

“We’re excited to see Chris grow with one of our finest partners,” said Matt Hanlon, Vice President, Market Manager for Entercom Charlotte. “There’s no one more qualified and passionate to represent the Hornets.”

Entering the 2017-18 season, the Hornets and WFNZ agreed to a new multi-year deal for WFNZ to continue as the team’s flagship radio station.

Charlotte Hornets President of Basketball Operations & General Manager Mitch Kupchak announced today the team has named James Borrego head coach. Borrego becomes the 11th head coach in franchise history.

“We are thrilled to have James join our franchise,” said Kupchak. “He brings a wealth of experience and a strong track record of player development from his time as a coach in San Antonio, New Orleans and Orlando. He has been a part of teams that have ascended to the highest levels of success in our league and understands what it takes to win in the NBA. James is considered one of the NBA’s most well-regarded assistant coaches and it’s great to have him as part of our team. I look forward to working with him in the years to come.”

Borrego, 40, joins the Hornets after spending the last three seasons as an assistant coach with the San Antonio Spurs under Head Coach Gregg Popovich.

The Albuquerque, New Mexico, native began his NBA career as an assistant video coordinator with San Antonio during the 2003-04 season. Borrego spent seven seasons with the Spurs, ascending to the role of assistant coach. In 2010, he left San Antonio for New Orleans where he served two seasons as an assistant coach (2010-12) under Monty Williams. Borrego then joined Jacque Vaughn’s staff with the Orlando Magic and served three seasons under Vaughn from 2012-15. Borrego gained his initial head coaching experience when he served as Orlando’s interim head coach for the final 30 games of the 2014-15 campaign after Vaughn was dismissed. He returned to the Spurs as an assistant coach in 2015.

“I’m very excited to serve as the head coach of the Charlotte Hornets,” said Borrego. “I want to thank Michael Jordan, Mitch Kupchak and Buzz Peterson for this opportunity. I’m confident in the coaching foundation I’ve had the opportunity to develop during my time in San Antonio, Orlando and New Orleans, and I cannot wait to get to work in Charlotte.”

In his 15 seasons in the NBA, Borrego has been a part of staffs that have led teams to the playoffs 11 different times in his stints in San Antonio and New Orleans. As a member of the Spurs, Borrego has been a part of two NBA Championship teams (2005 and 2007) and has been to four Western Conference Finals.

Prior to his coaching experience in the NBA, Borrego served two seasons (2001-03) as an assistant coach at the University of San Diego, his alma mater. Additionally, Borrego played three seasons collegiately for the Toreros and was named to the West Coast Conference All-Academic Team as a senior in 2000-01.

The general rule is, any coach who works as an assistant to Gregg Popovich is probably a good coach. And usually winds up getting offers from other teams fairly quickly. Well, the Hornets have a new GM, and need a new head coach. Here’s the Charlotte Observer with the latest:

The Charlotte Hornets will act quickly to interview San Antonio Spurs assistant Ettore Messina for their head-coaching opening, as soon as the Spurs season is complete.

A source familiar the situation said Messina will interview as early as the middle of next week, if the Spurs are eliminated by the Golden State Warriors by then. Ettore coached the Spurs in Thursday’s loss to the Warriors, as head coach Gregg Popovich mourned the death of his wife, Erin.

The Spurs trail the best-of-7 series 3-0. Game 4 is Sunday in San Antonio. A possible Game 5 is Tuesday in Oakland, Calif. It’s yet to be determined when Popovich would rejoin the team.

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Hornets fire coach Steve Clifford

Charlotte Hornets President of Basketball Operations & General Manager Mitch Kupchak announced today that the team has relieved Steve Clifford of his head coaching duties.

“I want to thank Coach Clifford for his contributions to the Hornets,” said Kupchak. “I know he has worked incredibly hard on behalf of the organization and we wish him the best moving forward. The search for a new coach will begin immediately.”

Clifford was named Charlotte head coach on May 29, 2013. He finished with a regular-season record of 196-214 (.478 winning percentage). Charlotte qualified for the NBA Playoffs in 2013 and 2016. The Hornets finished the 2017-18 campaign with a 36-46 record.

Per the Charlotte Observer, “Clifford acknowledged Wednesday that this season’s Hornets failed to improve over the course of the season, as his previous teams did, and that the group lacked the “spirit” of previous teams on his watch. Clifford said he had a say in every player acquisition that assembled this roster, so he took responsibility for its failure.”

More from the Observer: “Clifford’s job performance was complicated this season by a health crisis: He missed 5 ½ weeks of the season treating severe headaches related to sleep deprivation. Working with a neurologist, Clifford has retrained himself to sleep at least 6 ½ hours a night; previously he wasn’t getting more than five hours of sleep.”

Charlotte Hornets Chairman Michael Jordan announced today that the team has named Mitch Kupchak President of Basketball Operations & General Manager.

Kupchak, who brings more than 30 years of NBA front office experience to Charlotte, including 17 seasons as an NBA General Manager, will be responsible for leading the organization’s day-to-day basketball operations.

“In every role and in every stop during his tenure in the NBA, Mitch Kupchak has brought the highest levels of success to his teams. He’s a proven winner,” Jordan said. “Having won championships as both a player and an executive, we have confidence that Mitch is the right person to lead our basketball operations, build a winning culture and bring sustained success to our organization, for our fans and for the city of Charlotte.”

“I’m excited to join the Hornets organization and I want to thank Michael for this opportunity,” said Kupchak. “I am well aware of the passion for basketball in Charlotte and throughout the entire state of North Carolina‎, and I am confident that we can build the Hornets into a successful team that our great fans can be proud of.”

Kupchak joins the Hornets after a very distinguished and successful career as a front office executive and player with the Los Angeles Lakers. He began working in the team’s front office in 1986 under two NBA Hall-of-Famers: legendary NBA executive Jerry West and Bill Sharman, the first person to win a championship as a player, coach and executive. Kupchak was named general manager in 2000, serving in that capacity for 17 seasons. During Kupchak’s tenure as general manager, the Lakers won four NBA Championships and six Western Conference Championships, posting a 747-607 (.552) regular-season record and winning 63 percent (111-66) of their postseason contests.

Dwight Howard suspended due to techs

Charlotte Hornets center Dwight Howard has been suspended one game without pay for receiving his 16th technical foul of the 2017-18 season, it was announced today by Kiki VanDeWeghe, Executive Vice President, Basketball Operations.

Under NBA rules, a player or coach is automatically suspended without pay for one game once he receives his 16th technical foul during a regular season. For every two additional technical fouls received during that regular season, the player or coach will be automatically suspended without pay for an additional game.

Howard received his most recent technical foul with 10:48 remaining in the third quarter of the Hornets’ 111-105 victory over the Brooklyn Nets on March 21 at Barclays Center. Howard will serve his suspension March 22 when the Hornets play host to the Memphis Grizzlies at Spectrum Center.

Michael Carter-Williams undergoes season-ending shoulder surgery

Charlotte Hornets guard Michael Carter-Williams has undergone surgery to address a torn labrum in his left shoulder.

Carter-Williams sustained the injury at Toronto on March 4 and will miss the remainder of the season.

In his first season with the Hornets, Carter-Williams averaged 4.6 points, 2.7 rebounds and 16.1 minutes per game in 52 contests. In 287 career games, he has averaged 11.5 points and 4.7 rebounds per game.

Michael Carter-Williams suffers season-ending shoulder injury

Hornets guard Michael Carter-Williams has suffered a posterior labral tear in his left shoulder. The injury was confirmed after Carter-Williams underwent an MRI and was examined by Hornets team orthopedist Dr. Marc Cook of Novant Health. The injury occurred with 4:05 left in the second quarter of Charlotte’s game at Toronto on March 4.

Carter-Williams will undergo surgery to address the injury and will miss the remainder of the season.

In his first season with the Hornets, Carter-Williams has appeared in 52 games and is averaging 4.6 points and 2.7 rebounds in 16.1 minutes per game. In 287 career games, he has averaged 11.5 points and 4.7 rebounds per game.

On the Hornets front office job opening

The Hornets need a new GM. Perks include a roster that definitely still needs to make changes in the coming seasons for the team to become seriously competitive, and the chance to hang with team owner Michael Jordan once in a while. Here’s theCharlotte Observer with the latest:

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 with interest 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 and Van Gundy are both under contract with the Pistons through the end of this season.

That same source said Bower, 56, would definitely be interested in the Hornets’ opening. Bower worked in Charlotte previously, in the original Hornets’ front office.

Charlotte Hornets guard Kemba Walker has been named by NBA Commissioner Adam Silver to replace injured New York Knicks forward/center Kristaps Porzingis on Team LeBron in the 2018 NBA All-Star Game, which will be played on Sunday, Feb. 18 at Staples Center in Los Angeles (8 p.m. ET; TNT/ESPN Radio).

In addition, 2018 NBA All-Star Andre Drummond of the Detroit Pistons will replace Porzingis in the Skills Challenge.

Walker becomes an NBA All-Star for the second time, having made his All-Star Game debut last year in New Orleans. The seven-year veteran is averaging 22.6 points, 5.8 assists and 3.4 rebounds in 51 games, joining new All-Star teammate LeBron James of the Cleveland Cavaliers as the only Eastern Conference players who are producing that many points and assists per game.

The 6-1 Walker has scored at least 40 points in a game three times this season, one of eight NBA players to do so. He also ranks ninth in the NBA in three-pointers made with 141. On Feb. 4, Walker became the Hornets’ all-time leader in three-pointers made, passing Dell Curry’s record of 929.

Since Jan. 1, Walker has led Charlotte to a 10-7 record while posting the third-highest scoring average in the Eastern Conference (24.6 ppg) to go with an increase in assists (6.2 apg). For the season, the Hornets are 17.4 points per 100 possessions better when Walker is on the court than when he is off the court, the highest mark among all qualifying NBA players, according to NBA.com/Stats.

Porzingis will not play in the NBA All-Star Game or defend his title in the Taco Bell® Skills Challenge after sustaining a torn ACL in his left knee in a game against the Milwaukee Bucks on Feb. 6. A first-time NBA All-Star selection in his third season, Porzingis is averaging 22.7 points, 6.6 rebounds and a league-leading 2.40 blocked shots in 48 games. He was selected by NBA head coaches as an All-Star reserve and drafted to Team LeBron by James.

According to NBA rules, when an All-Star is unable to participate, the commissioner shall choose a replacement from the same conference as the player who is being replaced. Porzingis and Walker both play for Eastern Conference teams.

Charlotte Hornets head coach Steve Clifford has been medically cleared to return to coaching the team on a full-time basis.

Clifford will officially re-join the team starting with practice on Tuesday, Jan. 16, before returning to the sidelines on Wednesday, Jan. 17, vs. the Washington Wizards.

He has been away from the team since Dec. 6 to address his health. Hornets Associate Head Coach Stephen Silas served as the team’s acting head coach while Clifford was out.

Cody Zeller out after knee surgery

Cody Zeller out after knee surgery

Hornets center Cody Zeller had arthroscopic surgery in his left knee today. The team didn’t estimate a return date for him, so for now he’ll be listed as Out Indefinitely.

The injury occurred in the third quarter in the team’s December 6 game against the Warriors.

Zeller this season is averaging 7.2 points and 5.5 rebounds in 19.9 minutes per game.

Overall during his 298 games with Charlotte, Zeller has averaged 8.0 points and 5.6 rebounds per outing.

The Hornets are just 10-16 this season, which is the 13th best record in the Eastern conference. They were expected to be better than this.

The team is led in scoring by Kemba Walker (22.5 ppg), Dwight Howard (16.0 ppg), Jeremy Lamb (14.8), Frank Kaminsky (10.5 ppg) and Nicolas Batum (10.1 ppg).

The Hornets play the Rockets in Houston Wednesday night.

Hornets begin stretch of home games

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The Hornets are just 8-13 so far this season, which is the 12th best record in the Eastern conference. The upcoming week will provide an interesting variety tests at home which may help determine which direction they’re headed. Here’s the Charlotte Observer reporting the latest:

This is a big week for the Hornets, with four consecutive home games (Magic, Golden State Warriors, Chicago Bulls and Los Angeles Lakers) over six days. The Hornets have been terrible on the road this season (1-10), but are 7-3 at Spectrum Center.

Ten of the Hornets’ next 13 games are in Charlotte. What has to change to get this team right?

“We’ve got to change our approach. We have to have carryover from (what’s instructed in) shootarounds to the games,” Walker said. “Coach (Steve Clifford) and the staff give us a great game plan each and every night to execute, and we haven’t been doing that.

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