Sources: Atkinson nearing agreement to join Warriors staff

Kenny Atkinson

Steve Kerr's 2021-22 coaching staff is starting to take shape, and a well-known name is close to joining the ranks.

Multiple league sources confirmed to NBC Sports Bay Area's Monte Poole on Wednesday that Kenny Atkinson is nearing an agreement to join the Warriors' coaching staff.

The Warriors also are adding a player development coach from the Toronto Raptors, as Poole confirmed through league sources that Jama Mahlalela will join the staff.

The Athletic's Shams Charania and Anthony Slater first reported that Atkinson and Mahlalela were close to joining the Warriors.

Atkinson recently served as an assistant on Ty Lue's staff with the Los Angeles Clippers. Prior to that, the 54-year-old New York native spent four seasons as the head coach of the Brooklyn Nets, where he amassed a 118-190 record.

Atkinson led the Nets to a 42-40 record during the 2018-19 season and the culture he installed in Brooklyn was a big reason why Kevin Durant left the Warriors to join up with Kyrie Irving.

But after a disappointing 28-34 season in 2019-20, Atkinson stepped down in Brooklyn and was replaced by first-time coach Steve Nash.

Kerr hinted at the beginning of June to noticeable changes to his coaching staff, and Atkinson certainly is the "new blood" the Warriors coach was talking about.

A month after the 2020-21 season ended with a disappointing play-in tournament loss to the Memphis Grizzlies, Jarron Collins, Theo Robertson and Luke Loucks all left the Warriors' coaching staff.

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Multiple league sources confirmed to NBC Sports Bay Area's Monte Poole in June that the Warriors are adding Dejan Milojević, a 44-year-old Serbian native who was serving as head coach for Budućnost VOLI in Montenegro. The reported addition of Milojević signals a clear investment in James Wiseman's future.

The Warriors reportedly had interest in adding former Atlanta Hawks head coach Lloyd Pierce, but he ended up joining Rick Carlisle's new staff with the Indiana Pacers.

If Atkinson's deal is finalized with the Warriors, he will bring fresh ideas and a new voice to a team hungry to get back into NBA title contention next season.

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