Report: James Borrego's Hornets Contract Option to Be Picked Up for 2021-22 Season

Tyler Conway@@jtylerconwayFeatured Columnist IVMay 25, 2021

Charlotte Hornets head coach James Borrego stands on the court during the first half of an NBA basketball game against the Washington Wizards, Sunday, May 16, 2021, in Washington. (AP Photo/Nick Wass)
AP Photo/Nick Wass

The Charlotte Hornets are reportedly picking up the team option on head coach James Borrego's contract for the 2021-22 season.

Shams Charania of The Athletic and Stadium reported Tuesday that Borrego will return for a fourth season. The Hornets are 95-124 in Borrego's three seasons at the helm, including a 33-39 mark in 2020-21.

Charlotte spent most of the season battling for a playoff spot but scuffled down the stretch amid injuries to Gordon Hayward and LaMelo Ball. The team lost its last five games of the regular season and was blown out by the Indiana Pacers during the play-in tournament.

“The way we played this season turned a lot of heads around the league and made a lot of people want to come here,” Hayward told reporters at year-end media availability. “We move the ball and get up and down the court. ... So hopefully guys will want to jump on that train.”

A longtime assistant under Gregg Popovich in San Antonio, Borrego joined the Hornets in 2018 after the team fired Steve Clifford. He posted his best record in 2018-19 (39-43), but the team has not been able to reach the .500 mark.

The Hornets seemingly trust Borrego to continue his strong work in developing Ball, who looks like a budding superstar.

However, it's notable that there appears to be no contract extension in the works. Hornets management clearly feels they want to build on a promising 2020-21 and contend for a playoff spot next season. If Borrego isn't able to get them over the hump, the overwhelming odds are they will install a new coach next offseason.