The Charlotte Hornets have begun their search to replace Mitch Kupchak to run their basketball operations department.

Sources tell Marc Stein that the Brooklyn Nets' Jeff Peterson, New Orleans Pelicans' Trajan Langdon and Minnesota Timberwolves' Matt Lloyd are three leading candidates for the position. Stein later reported that Austin Ainge of the Boston Celtics is another candidate to monitor. 

Peterson is a top aide to Sean Marks and Brooklyn has a strong interest in trying to keep him. Peterson previously worked with Hornets' co-owner Rich Schanll with the Atlanta Hawks.

Langdon has been a strong candidate for lead decision-maker jobs previously. 

Lloyd was one of Tim Connelly's first hires with the Wolves and has previous experience with the Chicago Bulls and Orlando Magic.