December 20, 2022
Atlanta Dream extends Tanisha Wright and Dan Padover’s contract to 2027 season
GM Dan Padover calls upcoming season 'most challenging year in our tenure'
Today the Atlanta Dream announced they have extended head coach Tanisha Wright and general manager Dan Padover’s contracts for an additional five years through the 2027 season.
“We are essentially building the Atlanta Dream from scratch, and that takes time,” said primary owner of the Atlanta Dream, Larry Gottesdiener, via press release. “What Tanisha and Dan accomplished with this team in less than a year is extraordinary and is something that should put the sports world on notice of exciting things to come from our franchise.”
The news comes after the duo came from Vegas in 2021 and led a highly successful 2022 season, with Wright winning AP Coach of the Year and a near-playoff run.
Padover is a two-time WNBA Executive of the Year and masterfully constructed the Dream’s roster, trading for the No. 1 draft pick and Rookie of the Year Rhyne Howard and establishing a cast of characters new and old.
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Both Wright and Padover expressed deep gratitude for the Dream organization and excitement for what the team can achieve going forward.
“I think anytime that you’re able to build something and be in a place that you can really watch it grow and be a big part of it, it’s exciting,” Padover told The Next. “Knowing that both Tanisha and I will have an opportunity to build this out and have time to see it through is very exciting.”
And Padover explained doing it alongside Wright is crucial to the enjoyment and success.
“This career we’re in is very challenging, and you’ve got to be so measured and so exact that the partner you have is as important as the city you’re in or the job that you’re in,” Padover said. So I have a partner in Tanisha and I think Tanisha would say she has a partner in me, and for both of us, knowing that we have each other for the next five years is super important.”
And although it’s exciting, Padover assured that there are plenty of challenges ahead they’re focusing on day-by-day and season-by-season.
“For me, next year is probably, in my belief, gonna be the most challenging year in our tenure here,” Padover said. “We came into a situation where there was a lot of instability, there’s a lot of unknown, and we organized things, we brought in good people, and we all worked really hard… Now we have to begin to take this team and show progress year after year.”
The first test of their new tenure is building the Dream’s 2023 roster. Many predict they’re slated for a big free-agency signing with the ability to make a deep playoff run. Padover affirmed free agency is definitely an option but not the only route.
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“Development is the one thing that we can bank on, and I know that we’ll focus on our current players continuing to get better and they’ll grow up and that in itself will be progress,” Padover said. “Now it’s on me to try and add more talent, draft well and things like such.”
With the No. 3 draft pick, cap space and rising stars like Rhyne Howard, Naz Hillmon and Aari McDonald, the sky is the limit.
Written by Gabriella Lewis
Gabriella is The Next's Atlanta Dream and SEC beat reporter. She is a Bay Area native currently studying at Emory University.
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