Hornets to hire Spurs assistant Borrego as coach

James Borrego of the Hornets is entering his first season as an NBA head coach.

The Charlotte Hornets are finalizing a deal that will make James Borrego the team’s new head coach, according to ESPN.

Borrego, 41, has spent the previous three seasons as an assistant under Gregg Popovich with the San Antonio Spurs. He has also been an assistant with the Orlando Magic and New Orleans Pelicans. Borrgeo briefly served as interim coach of the Magic in 2015.

“Borrego is one of the most well-regarded assistants in the league; his coaching career has included two different tours on Gregg Popovich’s staff,” ESPN wrote. “Borrego turned down the University of New Mexico in his home state last year, choosing to continue pursuit of an NBA head-coaching job.”

Boston Celtics assistant Jay Larranaga was also a candidate for the job. Larranaga remains a strong candidate for the Atlanta Hawks’ coaching vacancy, league sources have told Amico Hoops.

New Hornets general manager Mitch Kupchak has been seeking a coach since firing Steve Clifford following the season. The Hornets finished 36-46 in each of the previous two seasons.