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Kenny Atkinson Joins Warriors; Bows Out Of Magic Search

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Chauncey Billups’ former Clippers colleague heads to the Bay Area to assist Steve Kerr after initial suggestions he was placed to land in Orlando.

NBA: San Antonio Spurs at Brooklyn Nets Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Kenny Atkinson looks set to continue as an assistant coach following reports from The Athletic’s Shams Charania he’s joining Steve Kerr’s staff at the Golden State Warriors.

Atkinson, who held the Brooklyn Nets head coaching role between 2016 and 2020, sat alongside newly minted Portland Trail Blazers Head Coach Chauncey Billups on the Los Angeles Clippers bench last season.

The Warriors have reached an agreement to add former Nets head coach Kenny Atkinson to Steve Kerr’s coaching staff as one of the lead assistants, sources told The Athletic. It’s the most high-profile change in what has been a summer of reshuffling within the staff.

Atkinson would join Mike Brown at the front of the bench, giving the Warriors two former head coaches as lead assistants. Atkinson spent this past season as a lead assistant to Clippers coach Ty Lue, alongside Chauncey Billups, who was recently hired as the Trail Blazers’ coach, and Dan Craig.

Last week Bleacher Report’s Jake Fischer suggested Atkinson as a likely candidate for the Orlando Magic head coaching role, made vacant by Steve Clifford last month. With Atkinson destined for the Bay Area, former Blazers play caller Terry Stotts could be in serious running for the Magic job.

“That domino falling (Jason Kidd to the Dallas Mavericks) would seemingly clear the way for Kenny Atkinson in Orlando. Word about the Magic’s own head coaching vacancy has been relatively mum of late, but the former Nets head coach and current Clippers assistant has been the loudest name mentioned for Orlando’s open post. It’s believed the Magic are looking for a candidate with previous head coaching experience, and Terry Stotts could also be a strong option for Orlando, sources said.

The Blazers have yet to name Billups’ assistants; however, Charania has also hinted at three possible names to help the rookie head coach.

Subscribers to The Athletic can read the Charania story here.