From a season ago, Dream coach Nicki Collen accepts the congratulations of her fans. (Photo: Scott Cunningham/Getty Images)

Nicki Collen, Dream working on contract extension

The Dream currently are in negotiations with coach Nicki Collen to extend her contract, which is set to expire after the 2020 season.

A new deal hasn’t been decided on, but Collen told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, “ultimately the goal is for me to be here in Atlanta. I think we’re both excited about that. That doesn’t mean we’re there yet.”

She was hired in 2017 and received an extension after she was named 2018 WNBA Coach of the Year during her first season. She won the award after leading Atlanta to the No. 2 seed in the WNBA playoffs and the most wins (23) in franchise history.

In 2019, the Dream won eight games and finished last in the league in wins, points per game and field-goal percentage. As she prepares for her third season with the team, and the first season playing games in College Park, Collen is thinking of both immediate and future needs when it comes to free-agency moves.

“I think there’s questions, but I’m just gonna do it my way,” Collen said. “I think I have a great relationship with our ownership and the front office. They know how passionate I am about this, and last season was tough playing (without) a two-time Olympian all season (Angel McCoughtry).”

The team has the No. 4 pick in the 2020 draft and under the new collective bargaining agreement, a little more than half a million dollars of cap space, according to High Post Hoops’ WNBA salary database.

“I think we know we have to turn the page and be better but we’re thinking both short term and long term,” Collen said. “Like, how do we compete now? But how do we build for the future because I plan on being here a long time.” 

The Dream will open their 13th WNBA season May 15 at the Indiana Fever.

Support real journalism. Support local journalism. Subscribe to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution today. See offers.

Your subscription to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution funds in-depth reporting and investigations that keep you informed. Thank you for supporting real journalism.