The Charlotte Hornets have found their new head coach: Charles Lee from BC(Boston Celtics) is who it will be

Charlotte Hornets make decision on next head coach
from Hoops Rumors, with Luke Adams, and from

The Hornets have formally named Steve Clifford‘s successor, announcing in a press release that they’ve hired Celtics assistant Charles Lee as their new head coach.

Lee will finish his playoff run in Boston before officially joining the Hornets, according to the announcement. Sources tell ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski that Lee will sign a four-year contract with Charlotte.

“We are excited to welcome Charles Lee as the head coach of Charlotte Hornets,” Hornets head of basketball operations Jeff Peterson said in a statement. “His high character and his ability to connect with players while also instilling a culture of accountability will serve us well as we construct a competitive team built for long-term success.”

“Charles possesses a championship pedigree with a wide range of basketball knowledge and NBA experience, has a tremendous work ethic and is a great communicator. He shares our vision for this organization, and I look forward to partnering with him in building something special here in the Carolinas.”

Long viewed as the front-runner in the Hornets’ head-coaching search, Lee spent several years playing professionally in international leagues from 2006-10 before transitioning into coaching.

He was an assistant at Bucknell from 2012-14, then worked under Mike Budenholzer in Atlanta from 2014-18 and in Milwaukee from 2018-23, winning a title with the Bucks in 2021. Following Budenholzer’s ouster last year, Lee was hired by the Celtics as Joe Mazzulla‘s lead assistant for the 2023-24 season.

Lee has been one of the NBA’s most popular head-coaching candidates in recent years. He either interviewed with or received consideration from the Celtics, Pelicans, Magic and Wizards in 2021; the Hornets, Lakers, Kings and Jazz in 2022; and the Pistons, Bucks, Suns and Raptors in 2023.

Lee has a preexisting relationship with Peterson, who worked in Atlanta’s front office when Lee was a Hawks assistant. Hornets co-owner Rick Schnall was a minority stakeholder in the Hawks at that time.

Charlotte had been in the market for a new head coach because Clifford announced in early April that he would be stepping down from his position. He’s reportedly expected to transition into a front-office role following his second stint coaching the Hornets.

Lee will take over a Hornets team that is still very much in retooling mode, though there are some intriguing foundational pieces in place, led by forward Brandon Miller and guard LaMelo Ball.

Miller finished third in Rookie of the Year voting this spring; Ball has battled ankle issues in recent years, but is a former Rookie of the Year who has an All-Star berth under his belt and is still just 22 years old.

The Hornets are the second team to complete a head-coaching search since the regular season ended, joining the Nets (Jordi Fernandez). The Wizards and Lakers continue to seek new coaches.