Steve Clifford, Hornets agree on an extension

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The Hornets have signed head coach Steve Clifford to a three-year extension. Clifford was originally set to become a free agent after this year but he is now under contract until the 2018-2019 season, with the Hornets having an option to bring him back in the ’19-’20 season. Rick Bonnell of the Charlotte Observer first reported the news.

“The Charlotte Hornets and coach Steve Clifford have come to an agreement on a multi-year extension, the Observer has learned.

The deal includes a three-year guarantee that would keep Clifford in his current role through the 2018-19 season.”

Clifford’s first year with the Hornets (then the Charlotte Bobcats) was successful. Taking a laughing stock of a franchise and leading them to a 43-39 record and landing them a playoff spot in the 2013-2014 season. Despite losing to the Miami Heat in four games, there was a feeling that the future was bright in Charlotte. In his second season, first season as the newly re-branded Hornets, injuries were a big problem in the teams development causing them to regress and winning only 33 games.

Steve Clifford has brought new life into this franchise in just two short seasons after many dark years as the Bobcats (Credit: Andy Lyons/Getty Images North America)
Steve Clifford has brought new life into this franchise in just two short seasons after many dark years as the Bobcats (Credit: Andy Lyons/Getty Images North America)

This past off-season Charlotte made a ton of moves. There are a total of seven guys playing for this team that were not on this roster last year. Currently the team is 8-6  and could be fighting for a lower playoff seed in the East if they do not have any serious injuries. They already had one with their top defender Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, who is out for the season with a shoulder injury.

A lot of teams would have been interested in Clifford this summer if the team did not sign him to an extension so it is good to see that the Hornets have stability. What was once a joke of a team has now become more of playoff contending team in the matter of a few years. The Hornets next four games are all home against Washington, Cleveland, Milwaukee, and Golden State.

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