Woj: Atkinson, Staff Completing Contract Extensions

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OK, the Brooklyn Nets lost tonight to the Eastern Conference-leading Milwaukee Bucks — but, hey, it’s not all doom and gloom!

Enter: Adrian Wojnarowski.

According to the tipster, the Nets are giving head coach Kenny Atkinson and his staff some well-deserved contract extensions. Although not yet finished, Wojnarowski reports that they’re expected to sign the new deals in the near future. The Nets continue to steadily improve under the developmental-minded Atkinson, one part of the dynamic duo that rapidly dug the franchise out from a half-decade-long pit of despair.

At 39-38, this already stands as Brooklyn’s best year since 2013-14  — a frustrating campaign in which the Nets only reached the second round under Jason Kidd. When Atkinson first took over, the Nets won just 20 games, then improved to 28 wins the following season. Atkinson and his staff are hailed for D’Angelo Russell, Spencer Dinwiddie, Joe Harris, Caris LeVert and Jarrett Allen’s swift rises since taking over the job.

Many pundits have hailed Atkinson as a darkhorse Coach of the Year candidate but for taking over a franchise with almost zero picks to their collective name, the Long Island-born rising star has done a remarkable job. Of course, the Nets were expected to join the lottery again this season — but since they’re fighting for their playoff lives in April for the first time in what feels like an eon, the front office has rightfully moved up the timeline.

Wojnarowski adds: “Atkinson has inspired praise throughout the league for the tenacity and improvement that his Nets teams have shown in his nearly three seasons on the job.”

Next up, hopefully, will be general manager Sean Marks.