Atkins was undrafted following a college career at the University of South Florida, and began his pro career in 2000 with the Orlando Magic. He has since played for the Detroit Pistons, the Boston Celtics, and the Los Angeles Lakers and has averaged 10.7 points per game throughout his career. He was traded along with Caron Butler to the Washington Wizards in exchange for Kwame Brown and Laron Profit in the 2005 offseason.
The Wizards bought out the remainder of his contract on January 18, 2006. Atkins had voiced displeasure with the amount of playing he was receiving, and he and the team both felt a change of scenery was needed. On January 23, he signed as a free agent with the Memphis Grizzlies, replacing the injured Damon Stoudamire.