The Charlotte Hornets announced Thursday morning that they've hired Charles Lee as their next head coach. Lee joins the Hornets after being an assistant coach with the Boston Celtics this season, and before that was an assistant coach under Mike Budenholzer with the Milwaukee Bucks for five seasons.

Lee has agreed to a four-year contract with the Hornets, per ESPN, and will join the team following the Celtics' run in the 2024 NBA playoffs. Lee is considered one of the top assistant coaches in the NBA and has been considered for several head coaching gigs over the years, including the Los Angeles Lakers' current vacancy. And while a job like the Lakers may offer a better opportunity at winning right now, the Hornets offer a young, talented roster in need of some guidance. It's an ideal situation for a first-time head coach who can implement his own style and culture on a team in the midst of a rebuild.

"The opportunity to be the head coach of the Charlotte Hornets is a dream come true," Lee said in the Hornets' statement.  "I want to thank Rick Schnall, Gabe Plotkin and Jeff Peterson for the trust they are placing in me to lead this team. The Hornets have a talented young core of players and I'm excited about our future and what we can build here. There are few places as passionate about basketball as the Carolinas, and I look forward to coming to Charlotte and getting to work."

Lee replaces Steve Clifford, who stepped down after going 21-61 this season to take a front-office role with the team.

While only 39 years old, Lee brings a wealth of coaching experience. He's been an assistant coach in the NBA for 10 years, starting out with the Atlanta Hawks under Budenholzer. When Budenholzer left the Hawks for the Bucks in 2018, Lee joined him in Milwaukee, becoming the top assistant coach for a team that won a championship in 2021. He was considered for the Bucks head coaching job after Budenholzer was fired. But after not getting that job, he shifted gears and joined Joe Mazzulla's staff as the top assistant in Boston this season, where the Celtics are poised to make a deep postseason run. Prior to his time as a coach at the NBA level, he was an assistant coach at Bucknell for two years.

With Lee installed as the head coach, the Hornets can now focus on other decisions facing them this offseason, perhaps most important among them is their projected top-3 lottery pick in the 2024 NBA Draft. Charlotte has the third best odds of landing the No. 1 overall pick, and while it is considered a weaker draft, bringing in more young talent to develop is a positive for a team that hasn't managed to put all the pieces together yet. Beyond that, Lee will have to figure out how to best harness the talents of LaMelo Ball and Brandon Miller. Ball played just 22 games this season after suffering an ankle injury, so getting him back healthy for next year to continue building chemistry with Miller will be important to Charlotte's success.