Atlanta Dream hire Dan Padover as general manager in big step toward rebuild


The Atlanta Dream have announced Dan Padover as their next general manager, hiring him away from the Las Vegas Aces after he was named WNBA Executive of the Year the past two seasons.

In his three years with the Aces, the team went 63-25 and advanced to the playoffs every season, posting a franchise-best record of 24-8 in 2020.

The Dream also announced Monday that interim head coach Darius Taylor will become the team’s assistant general manager. Atlanta hired Morgan Shaw Parker as team president and COO in September and Tanisha Wright as head coach on Oct. 12.

“We set out to create a leadership group with experience building winning teams underpinned by a values-based culture,” said Dream owner and chairman Larry Gottesdiener. “Dan is one of the most well-respected executives in the WNBA with a track record that speaks for itself. Darius has been an integral part of the Dream organization for four years and has earned the trust and respect of the players and ownership. These hires fill out the leadership team along with Chief Executive Officer Suzanne Abair, and Vice President Renee Montgomery.”

Prior to the Aces, Padover served as vice president of basketball operations for the New York Liberty.

“To build an organization from the ground up with new ownership and new leadership in a top-ten market like Atlanta is such a unique and exciting opportunity,” Padover said. “My ultimate goal is to help create a model WNBA franchise and bring a championship to the city. Rebuilds don’t happen overnight, but this organization is now uniquely positioned to create a winning culture.”

The Dream, who have gone 23-65 in the past three seasons and haven’t made the playoffs since 2018, dealt with significant turnover in 2021.

Gottesdiener purchased the Dream in February with partners Renee Montgomery and Suzanne Abair after former co-owners Kelly Loeffler and Mary Brock put the team up for sale. Weeks after Atlanta fired president and GM Chris Sienko in April, head coach Nicki Collen left before the start of the regular season to take over the Baylor women’s basketball program. Interim head coach Mike Petersen then stepped down in July due to health reasons, leaving Taylor to guide the team through the remainder of the season.

According to the team’s release, Padover will be tasked with bringing in players and staff “whose talent and values align with the new Dream organization through draft prospecting and free agency.” Additionally, Padover will be working toward the goal of building a “destination franchise that WNBA players will strive to be a part of.”