Hornets To Interview Lee, Fernandez, Young, Adelman

The Hornets have been granted permission to interview a handful of assistant coaches from around the NBA for their head coaching vacancy, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, who reports that Charles Lee (Celtics), Jordi Fernandez (Kings), Kevin Young (Suns) and David Adelman (Nuggets) will speak to Charlotte.

Additional candidates are expected to be interviewed for the position, Wojnarowski adds.

Lee, Fernandez and Young were cited as possibilities when Wojnarowski reported on Wednesday that Steve Clifford would be stepping down as head coach and moving into an advisory role with the Hornets. Adelman was later added to the list of potential candidates by Roderick Boone of The Charlotte Observer.

Lee, 39, got his start in Atlanta under Mike Budenholzer and later went with him to Milwaukee, winning a championship as a Bucks assistant in 2021. Lee, who has interviewed for several different head coaching jobs, joined Boston last summer after Budenholzer was fired by the Bucks.

Fernandez, who started in Denver before becoming Mike Brown‘s associate head coach in Sacramento, led the Canadian national team to a bronze medal at the 2023 World Cup. He’s another young coach (he’s 41) who has been a popular candidate for head coaching vacancies the past couple years.

Young, 42, has been with Phoenix since 2020 and was a finalist for the team’s head coaching job last year when Monty Williams was let go. The position ultimately went to Frank Vogel, but Young was retained on a deal that made him the highest-paid assistant in the league (he’s technically the associate head coach).

Adelman, also 42, is Michael Malone‘s top assistant in Denver and has served as interim head coach a few times. He has drawn praise from Nikola Jokic and Aaron Gordon for his coaching acumen. Adelman, who interviewed for Toronto’s vacancy last year, is the son of longtime former NBA head coach Rick Adelman.

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