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Spurs assistant James Borrego finalizing deal to become Hornets head coach

His name emerged as one of two favorites late last week, and now it appears James Borrego will be the next head coach of the Charlotte Hornets.

NBA: Preseason-San Antonio Spurs at Orlando Magic Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Per ESPN’s Adrian Wojnaroski, the Hornets are finalizing a deal with Spurs assistant coach James Borrego to make him the next head coach of the Hornets.

We profiled Borrego in this round up of the Hornets potential head coaching candidates. From that article:

Borrego got his start in the NBA with the San Antonio Spurs with whom he served as an assistant coach for nine seasons. He then spent two seasons with the New Orleans Hornets before being named Jacque Vaughn’s top assistant in Orlando. Borrego took over as interim head coach upon Vaughn’s firing and commandeered the team to a 10-20 record over their final 30 games, an improvement on the 15-37 record the team had when he took over. Upon the completion of that season, Borrego rejoined the Spurs coaching staff.

The Hornets, along with the rest of the league, have shown a keen interest in poaching someone off the Spurs coaching staff. It appears the Hornets have landed one of their top targets in that regard.

Update (1:28 p.m. EST): In an article on the hire, Adrian Wojnarowski provided a little more insight as to how Borrego became Mitch Kupchak’s choice:

Borrego made a strong impression in his interview with Mitch Kupchak, the Hornets’ new president of basketball operations and GM. Kupchak became more intrigued once he started to canvass NBA executives, coaches and players who have worked with Borrego, sources told ESPN.

It appears Borrego’s references came in handy! But in all seriousness, if executives, coaches, and players have nothing but good things to say about Borrego, then he’s doing something right.