Report: Kings near deal to hire Pistons executive Ken Catanella as assistant GM

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Some awkward moves last summer had people around the league questioning just how much Vlade Divac knew about the NBA’s CBA and complex salary cap rules, or even if he understood how to conduct a trade (he got fleeced by the Sixers in a deal). Owner Vivek Ranadive trusts Divac and wants to keep him as the ultimate direction setter and decision maker, but wants a more experienced hand under him who knows the cap and just how the business end of the basketball side of the operation should work.

Enter Ken Catanella.

The assistant GM of the Detroit Pistons is deep in talks with the Kings, reports Marc Stein of ESPN.

Sources told ESPN.com that the Kings were drawn to Catanella’s versatile background in their search for a seasoned front office executive to work under vice president and general manager Vlade Divac.

Catanella joined the Pistons for the 2011-12 season as director of basketball operations and was promoted to assistant general manager in 2014-15. In his previous two stops, Catanella worked with a focus in analytics in the league office and with the Nets.

Sources say Mike Bratz will remain with the club as adviser to the GM and director of scouting. He has developed a strong rapport with Divac since Divac returned to the organization last ‎season.

The Kings had been rumored to be close to hiring David Morway, formerly with the Bucks and Pacers, for that role, but talks fell apart.

Catanella is respected around the league and would be a good fit. This is a guy who has a good balance of understanding both analytics and traditional scouting, plus he’s a guy with a good grasp of the cap and its ramifications. He would be a fantastic fit for the role the Kings are trying to fill.

Let’s just hope they listen to him.