The Charlotte Hornets have agreed to a contract extension with head coach Steve Clifford, the team announced Wednesday. Rick Bonnell of The Charlotte Observer says the contract has a three-year guarantee through 2018-19 with an option on the 2019-20 season.
Clifford was hired by the then-Bobcats after the 2012-13 season in which Charlotte finished with the second-worst record in the league. However, the defensive-minded head coach immediately turned things around in Charlotte, directing his team to a 43-39 record and the postseason in his first season. The Bobcats were swept in the first round by the Miami Heat, but it was a big step for a franchise that had been in the league’s cellar for several years.
Charlotte took a step back last season when the team went 33-49 as the Hornets, but things are on the right track to start this year. Many thought the Hornets were in for another rough season when Michael Kidd-Gilchrist went down for the year before it even started, but a surprisingly potent offense has Charlotte holding an 8-6 record.
Thanks to a balanced scoring attack and an increase in three-point shooting, the Hornets rank fourth in offensive efficiency after finishing 28th last year. Clifford has done a great job with this group, making this a well-deserved extension.