Charles Lee agrees to 4-year deal as Hornets coach, sources say

Boston Celtics senior assistant coach Charles Lee has agreed to a four-year contract to become the head coach of the Charlotte Hornets, sources told ESPN Thursday morning.

Lee, 39, has become one of the league’s most accomplished assistant coaches and now arrives with new executive president of basketball operations Jeff Peterson in Charlotte to preside over the Hornets’ rebuild. Lee and Peterson began their NBA careers with the Atlanta Hawks.

Lee will finish the Celtics’ playoff run before joining the Hornets full time, sources said.

Before joining Boston as a top assistant under Joe Mazzulla last summer, Lee spent five years under two-time NBA Coach of the Year Mike Budenholzer with the Bucks and was part of the 2021 NBA championship race from Milwaukee.

Lee replaces Steve Clifford, who resigned at the end of the season to take a front office role. Charlotte has a chance to improve after a 21-61 season with the healthy return of All-Star point guard LaMelo Ball, the potential re-signing of free agent forward Miles Bridges and the rapid development of No. 1 pick 2 overall Brandon Miller. .

Lee began his coaching career in 2012 at Bucknell, where he was named Patriot League Player of the Year during his 2010 senior season. After playing two years of international professional basketball, Lee joined Budenholzer’s team with the Hawks in 2014 before joining Bucknell’s staff. Bucks in 2018 and the Celtics last summer.

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