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Struggling Charlotte Hornets fire general manager Rich Cho

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The struggling Hornets have shaken up their front office, firing general manager Rich Cho on Tuesday.

“Rich worked tirelessly on behalf of our team and instituted a number of management tools that have benefited our organization,” Hornets owner Michael Jordan said in a release. “We are deeply committed to our fans and to the city of Charlotte to provide a consistent winner on the court. The search will now begin for our next head of basketball operations who will help us achieve that goal.”

Charlotte is 24-33 and on the verge of failing to reach the playoffs for the second straight season.

Jordan’s college teammate Buzz Peterson was hired last year as the team’s assistant general manager is a potential replacement. Former Lakers GM Mitch Kupchak could be another candidate to join Peterson in the front office in some capacity.

Cho was hired as GM in 2011 and assumed day-to-day responsibilities of the basketball operations department in 2014.

“I will always be grateful for my experience with the franchise,” Cho said.

Cho and the Hornets have struggled with building a consistent winner.

He was responsible for drafting All-Star point guard Kemba Walker in 2011, but the team’s inability to get the No. 1 pick in the 2012 draft after a 7-59 season proved to be a backbreaker. Instead of getting perennial All-Star center Anthony Davis, the Hornets settled for Michael Kidd-Gilchrist with the No. 2 pick, a significant dropoff in talent.

Charlotte missed on second-round pick Jeffery Taylor from Sweden in 2012.

They took Cody Zeller, now a backup center, fourth overall in 2013, Noah Vonleh ninth in 2014 and Frank Kaminsky ninth overall in 2015. Cho drafted Malik Monk in the first round last year, but he barely sees any action for Charlotte because of concerns about his defense.

Cho traded this past offseason for center Dwight Howard, who has improved his play and had a decent season for the Hornets. However, the five-year contract given to Nic Batum last year has left the Hornets strapped under the salary cap.

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Report: Pau Gasol to join Trail Blazers

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Free agent center Pau Gasol has agreed to a one-year deal with the Portland Trail Blazers, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.

Gasol, 39, who was limited to just 30 games last season because of a variety of injuries, has career averages of 17.0 points and 9.2 rebounds over 17 NBA seasons.



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Report: Furkan Korkmaz returning to 76ers

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Free agent forward Furkan Korkmaz has agreed to a two-year contract to return to the Philadelphia 76ers, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.

Free agent forward Furkan Korkmaz has agreed to a two-year contract to return to the Philadelphia 76ers, agent Mike Lindeman of Excel Sports tells ESPN.

Korkmaz, 21, brings back a rotational forward with the ability to spread the floor with his shooting. The loss of JJ Redick in free agency – and Kyle Korver’s decision to choose Milwaukee over Philadelphia – brought some increased urgency to keep Korkmaz on the Sixers roster.

 The 21-year-old Korkmaz, who was the 26th overall pick in the 2016 NBA Draft, averaged 5.8 points and 2.2 rebounds in 14.1 minutes last season.

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Report: Kevin Love to withdraw from World Cup

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Cavaliers forward Kevin Love is the latest player expected to withdraw from Team USA’s training camp for the FIBA World Cup, according to The Athletic’s Shams Charania.

This news comes just one day after Damian Lillard reportedly withdrew from the World Cup. Love, who played in just 22 games last season because of a shoulder injury, averaged 17.0 points and 10.9 rebounds in 2018-19.

During the previous two weeks, James Harden, Anthony Davis, Eric Gordon, Zion Williamson and CJ McCollum reportedly decided not to compete in the World Cup this year.

Although the guard ranks will be somewhat depleted of NBA stars, Team USA continues to have a deep pool of players available.



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