Nicki Collen’s contract is currently set to expire after the 2020 season, but the Dream are looking to keep her around.
The Atlanta Dream and head coach Nicki Collen are currently working on an extension to Collen’s contract, which expires after the 2020 season, as reported by Bria Felicien at the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
“Ultimately the goal is for me to be here in Atlanta,” Collen told the AJC. “I think we’re both excited about that. That doesn’t mean we’re there yet.”
Collen came to the Dream in October 2017 from the Connecticut Sun, where she was an assistant coach for two seasons under Curt Miller. In 2018, Collen’s first season at the helm of the Dream, she led the team to a franchise-best 23-11 record and the WNBA Semifinals. Collen won WNBA Coach of the Year in 2018 for her efforts, receiving 37 of a possible 39 votes.
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The 2019 season wasn’t as idyllic for Collen in Atlanta, as the Dream limped to a league-worst 8-26 record. The Dream were without standout Angel McCoughtry throughout the year and struggled through shooting slumps for nearly every player on the roster. Atlanta finished in last place in the league in both points per game (71.2), shooting percentage (37.1 percent) and 3-point percentage (29 percent).
The Dream have the No. 4 overall pick in the 2020 WNBA Draft and, per our salary breakdown, just over $500,000 in cap space under the new CBA. McCoughtry was not cored and will test free agency for the first time in her career, opening the possibility that she won’t be a part of the Dream in 2020 and beyond.
As free agency gets going — players can begin to sign with teams on Feb. 10 — the Dream will look to construct their roster both for the 2020 season and the years to come. With Collen entering her third year and in negotiations to extend her contract with the franchise, it seems likely that she’ll look to shape the Dream into a team that matches her ideas of what the team should look like.
“I think we know we have to turn the page and be better but we’re thinking both short term and long term,” Collen told the AJC. “Like, how do we compete now? But how do we build for the future because I plan on being here a long time.”
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