The Hornets have been granted permission to interview Bucks assistant coach Charles Lee and Nets assistant David Vanterpool for their head coaching vacancy, per ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski (Twitter link).
Lee, 37, played four seasons at Bucknell from 2002-06 prior to making international stops in Israel, Belgium and Germany. He started his NBA assistant coaching career in 2014 with Atlanta, and has spent the past eight seasons working with head coach Mike Budenholzer, winning a championship with Milwaukee last season.
Lee was reportedly a finalist for head coaching jobs in New Orleans and Washington D.C. last summer, and he has continued to receive interest this season. He recently interviewed for Sacramento’s opening, but didn’t make the final cut.
An assistant for CSKA Moscow from 2007-12 after spending time with the Russian team as a player, Vanterpool made the move to the NBA in 2012. He served as an assistant coach on Portland’s staff for seven years from 2012-19, then spent two seasons as the Timberwolves’ associate head coach, first under Ryan Saunders, then under Chris Finch.
When the Wolves replaced Saunders with Finch during the 2020/21 season, some league observers expressed surprise that the team hired an assistant from another team (Finch had been part of Nick Nurse‘s Raptors staff) in the middle of the season rather than promoting Vanterpool, who has received consideration for other head coaching openings in recent years. Instead of sticking around in Minnesota, Vanterpool decided to join Steve Nash‘s staff in Brooklyn last summer.
Lee and Vanterpool are the fifth and sixth candidates set to interview for Charlotte’s vacancy, joining Mike D’Antoni, Kenny Atkinson, Darvin Ham and Sean Sweeney. The team is also rumored to be interested in a few other possible candidates.