Before the 2021 WNBA season ended, I predicted that hope could be on the horizon for the Atlanta Dream: the drama would settle, the locker room could reunite and turnover would decrease.

Since then, though, nothing of the sort has occurred. Their season ended with a forgettable 8-24 record. But, with an All-Star selection for guard Courtney Williams and an All-Rookie nod for point guard Aari MacDonald, the tables seemed to be turning for the Dream.

However, matters spiraled in just a matter of days. In early October, a video surfaced of Williams and guard Crystal Bradford in a physical altercation with a non-player who had harassed Williams’ girlfriend. Former Dream center Kalani Brown broke up the fight.

While the video only surfaced in the fall, it was filmed back in May and soon after seen by management. However, management didn’t understand the “magnitude” of the situation, according to current owner and former Dream star Renee Montgomery. 

Keep in mind Dream management indefinitely suspended young guard Chennedy Carter in July to hold her “accountable” after allegedly trying to instigate a locker room fight. Her suspension caused a continuous outcry; fans felt her potential was being squandered and were upset that the national media barely covered the situation. Carter’s future still remains up in the air.

With the emergence of this footage, WNBA fans immediately questioned the double standard of suspending Carter when Williams and Bradford faced no repercussions. Swiftly, Montgomery tweeted. 

However, this only further enraged fans. WNBA Twitter discourse ensued, calling the tweet “odd” and “disappointing.” Montgomery’s conflict of interest was also called into question, as she was on the WNBA semifinals ESPN broadcast team.

Soon after the video surfaced, Williams apologized and expressed remorse in a video on her girlfriend’s YouTube channel and via Twitter. Both have since been taken down. 

On Oct. 5, the players’ manager Marcus Crenshaw announced on Instagram Live that the Dream’s ownership made it clear that Williams and Bradford will not be re-signed.

As I previously wrote, Williams was one of the few bright spots in a season full of disappointment for this team. Losing her, as well as Bradford, is a massive blow to the franchise.

Now, there is no certainty for this year’s roster. Even before the controversies, the only player with a guaranteed Dream contract was power forward Cheyenne Parker. McDonald and Carter, along with forward Tianna Hawkins and guard Maite Cazorla, have unprotected options with the Dream. Atlanta will likely need to fill upward of nine roster spots.

And if we know anything about the Dream it’s that they’re consistent, because the turnover doesn’t end with just players.

In the last six months, the Dream has had three coaches, no general manager, two presidents and a change in ownership groups. Some of these changes have been seen as positive, whereas the majority have been debilitating. To the Dream’s credit, they have staged serious improvements in administrative turnover throughout the month of October. 

On Oct. 12, the Dream hired Head Coach Tanisha Wright. Wright played in the league from 2005 to 2019 and served as the Las Vegas Aces’ assistant coach under the leadership of NBA and WNBA veteran Bill Laimbeer. The Aces have finished as the second seed the last two seasons, with significant credit to their front office and coaching staff.

Wright is widely known as an excellent coach, with Tina Charles, two-time WNBA MVP and three-time Olympic Gold Medalist, calling her the most influential person in her career during a recent interview

This is a massive win for the Dream and a savvy move from their limited front office. Wright can bring veteran guidance and may attract recruits because she’s so widely beloved.

The Vegas poaching did not end here, though. The Dream also acquired Dan Padover, the WNBA’s back-to-back 2020 and 2021 Executive of the Year and face of the Aces’ front office up until Oct. 25. Padover will assume the general manager role, and Darius Taylor, the team’s interim head coach, will serve as assistant general manager. 

“We didn’t really have a front office this past year, to be quite frank,” owner Larry Gottesdier said in Padover’s introductory press conference. “I’m just beginning to learn how little I knew.”

Wright and Padover make a certified dream team (no pun intended). Padover’s creation of the Aces’ roster was nothing short of ground-breaking, and their ties to Las Vegas might make Atlanta an attractive destination for Aces free agents.

The duo also emphasized in the announcement that the franchise is eager to move forward with a clean slate. When structuring the franchise in 2022, the team is focusing on talent and personality. 

“We want to make sure that we are searching and pursuing not just talented players, but ones who demonstrate character, work ethic and accountability,” Wright told media on Oct. 25.

With plenty of spots to fill, the Dream’s fate will now be at the hands of their new management. Luckily for the Dream, this will be a promising offseason filled with franchise-shaping free agent possibilities. 

Although everyone is eager for big-time news, Wright reiterated in a video released by the Dream they were going to “take [their] time.” 

Alas, we’ll all have to wait until Jan. 15 next year to get wind of free-agency decisions, but in the meantime, we can only hope for big names to come to the A.