Hornets hire youngest lead front office executive in the NBA, Jeff Peterson, to head the franchise

By Chase Whitney

February 29, 2024 (updated)

The Charlotte Hornets are set to hire Jeff Peterson as the organization’s new Executive Vice President of Basketball Operations, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.

Peterson joins the Hornets franchise following four years as the assistant general manager of the Brooklyn Nets. Previously, he spent five years working under Hornets co-owner Rick Schnall in the Atlanta Hawks organization. Beginning as a scout in 2013, Peterson worked his way up to assistant general manager of the Hawks by 2016, holding that position for three years before making a lateral move to Brooklyn, where he’s been working under Nets general manager Sean Marks since 2019.

The Hornets reportedly interviewed a dozen candidates for the position before settling on Peterson. The Springfield, Missouri native played high school basketball at DeMatha (Maryland) and college basketball at Iowa, Arkansas and Florida State, finishing his collegiate career as a Seminole in 2012, joining the NBA scouting ranks the following year.

While it’s hard to judge the traits and tendencies of a front office executive before they’re given the keys to a franchise, Peterson has always been involved with scouting and/or basketball operations since entering the league. In the last few years with the Nets, Peterson had a hand in selecting players like Nic Claxton, Cam Thomas, Day’Ron Sharpe, Noah Clowney, Dariq Whitehead, and Kessler Edwards. 

Peterson comes into his new job with a clean slate– just over a month ago, the Hornets were mired in a stretch where they lost 16 of 17 games, including a nine-game skid into the trade deadline. A short-handed, post-exodus Charlotte squad lost to Milwaukee on February 9, and since then, have gone 5-2 with the recent acquisitions injecting new life into the fan base. With rookie Brandon Miller and the allure of a healthy LaMelo Ball and Mark Williams, Peterson has a lot to work with as he sets the course for building the next iteration of the Hornets. 


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At only 35 years old, Peterson becomes the youngest lead front office executive in the NBA– just 11 years ago, he was fresh out of college, breaking into the ground floor of the league by grinding film in the scouting department. Now, he’s tasked with lifting a Charlotte franchise out of the NBA’s cellar, and to heights that previous regimes were unable to reach.

Peterson will be introduced at a press conference on Wednesday, March 6 at 11 a.m. at Spectrum Center. Check out the remaining 2023-24 schedule for the Charlotte Hornets.


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