The NBA’s top 5 landing spots for head coach Kenny Atkinson

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NBA (Photo by Jesse D. Garrabrant)

The Brooklyn Nets recently parted ways with head coach Kenny Atkinson. Where in the NBA might this talented coach find a job for next season?

Early Saturday morning, ESPN’s NBA reporter Adrian Wojnarowski broke the news that the Brooklyn Nets had mutually agreed to part ways with Kenny Atkinson, their head coach since 2016.

Reporting by The Athletic’s Shams Charania and Alex Schiffer (paywall) suggested that tensions with recently arrived stars Kyrie Irving, Kevin Durant, and DeAndre Jordan were factors, as were questions about Atkinson’s ability to lead the Nets to championship contention.

Despite these concerns, Atkinson was and is a well-regarded coach in the NBA. He was an integral part of guiding the Nets through losing, rebuilding seasons back to the playoffs last year. Along the way, he helped establish a culture of high-effort, high-IQ basketball. His player development skills led to breakouts for players like Caris LeVert and D’Angelo Russell.

Before taking the Nets’ coaching job, Atkinson was on the staff of Mike Budenholzer’s Atlanta Hawks team. They reached the conference finals and played exciting up-tempo basketball. Prior to Atlanta, Atkinson worked with the New York Knicks under yet another coach who has won Coach of the Year honors, Mike D’Antoni.

With these past successes and a positive reputation, Atkinson is sure to attract offers from numerous teams around the NBA. Other franchises will hope they can mimic the improvement and success the Nets had with Atkinson at the helm.

It is not yet certain which top jobs will be available this summer, but with several underperforming teams out there around the NBA, there are sure to be some. Here we look at five teams that could be in the market for a coach of Atkinson’s caliber this summer.

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