UPDATE (Thursday at 2:45pm) -- The Kings officially named Ken Cantanella as their assistant GM, the team announced in a press release.
“We are focused on building a winning team and part of that process is ensuring we have a sound front office structure,” said Divac. “We are thrilled that Ken Catanella is joining the Kings to help us build on our progress and drive success on the court. Ken’s unique statistical and player expertise will provide a significant boost to our basketball operations team.”
Catanella has more than ten years of experience in player negotiation, contracts, statistical scouting systems and a comprehensive understanding of the salary cap. He joins the Kings front office after serving the Detroit Pistons for nearly five years as Director of Basketball Operations and Assistant General Manager. Prior to the Pistons, Catanella worked for the NBA and the New Jersey Nets.
In his role with the Kings, Catanella will function as the organization’s salary cap specialist, support Divac with personnel decisions and day-to-day management of the basketball operations department and assist with the team’s statistical and analytical systems.
A graduate of Amherst College where he played and coached, Catanella’s professional experience includes a stint on Wall Street where he provided analytics to sports franchises examining arena financing. While earning his MBA at Duke University, he served as a graduate assistant to the Blue Devils Men’s Basketball team from 2004-06. Catanella also played professional basketball for the Bundesliga’s Cologne 99ers of the German League and later served as the assistant general manager for the 99ers.
Sacramento Kings media services contributed to this report
The Sacramento Kings are about to check a big box from their long list of summer needs. CSN California has confirmed that the Kings are in advanced negotiations to add Detroit Pistons assistant general manager Ken Catanella to their front office staff.
Catanella will assume the same role with the Kings, stepping into an assistant position under vice president of basketball operations and general manager Vlade Divac.
The news was first reported by ESPN's Marc Stein.
Catanella joined the Pistons in 2011 after spending time with both the NBA and the New Jersey Nets. In Detroit he acted as the team’s director of basketball operations for three years before stepping into the assistant GM role in 2014.
Known for his analytics background and expertise with the NBA’s salary cap, Catanella fills plenty of needs for the Kings. But he’s being viewed as an addition, not a replacement for the current group.
Assistant general manager Mike Bratz will remain with the team as an advisor to Divac, and assume a new role as director of scouting. The veteran executive is well liked in Sacramento and will continue to be a part of the day-to-day operations of the club.
A formal announcement of Catanella’s hiring is expected as early as Thursday morning.