#3) New York Knicks
This fit makes sense for a variety of reasons.
Firstly, Atkinson, a Northport, New York native, has a history with the organization as an assistant from 2008-2012. He’s liked and well-respected in more than one of New York’s five boroughs.
Secondly, the Knicks are in desperate need of direction with the young talent they have on their roster. Atkinson has proven to be a strong coach in the developmental aspect of the game—his presence could provide their prospects stability.
Thirdly, as an analytically-inclined coach, his schemes on both ends of the floor may have holes in them but he knows how to generate the three most favorable shots in today’s NBA: three-pointers, shots at the rim, and his teams get to the line. With him at the helm, the Knicks could have other avenues of offense besides scoring in the paint.
Likewise, despite what’s on paper indicating otherwise, he led the Nets to an eighth-ranked defense. Not bad.
He could turn Mitchell Robinson into a monster off the roll; he’d open up and play to RJ Barrett’s strengths as a dynamic threat; he’d find a way to not just utilize Frank Ntilikina‘s defensive strengths but perhaps turn him into a respectable offensive player; hell, he might even turn Kevin Knox into something.
Under Leon Rose, a new era of Knicks basketball is about to take form. Kind of just like how a new era of Nets basketball took form under Sean Marks back in 2016, if history repeats itself, Kenny Atkinson is the right man for the job in terms of commanding the new age.