There’s been a sense of deja vu among Kings fans since Vlade Divac resigned and Joe Dumars stepped in as interim General Manager. It seemed a case of history repeating itself as a Hall of Fame player became an advisor to Vivek Ranadive, earned Vivek’s trust, and then Vivek attempted to install the advisor above the existing GM. It was the same way Vlade got the GM role to begin with. So despite the team’s statements that the Kings would do an extensive search, there was cause for concern that it would all be a song a dance that led to Dumars selecting himself as General Manager.
But according to The Athletic’s Sam Amick, this won’t be the case. Amick reports that the new GM will report to Vivek, not to Dumars, and that while Dumars is likely to be involved in the search process, including conducting interviews with Vivek, Dumars has “no interest in being the long-term head of basketball operations, and will not be a candidate in the search”.
That said, Amick also reports that there is no timeline for the search. Dumars and Ken Catanella could remain in charge through the draft and free agency, both of which are currently scheduled for mid-October. This is both encouraging, as the process shouldn’t be rushed, and concerning because that would mean Dumars making decisions with very little support staff. Catanella is a cap and contracts guru, not a scout or player evaluator.
Amick also notes the candidacy of former Kings assistant GM Scott Perry:
Yet while the list of likely candidates is long and sure to get longer with the involvement of Forde, sources say there has been a swell of support both internally among some of the team’s minority owners and externally for former Kings vice president of basketball operations and current New York Knicks general manager Scott Perry. It remains to be seen if that will help Perry or hurt him when it comes to Ranadive’s view, as the owner who headed the group that bought the team in 2013 has a tendency to be a contrarian upon occasion. But Ranadive and Perry, sources say, are known to be on very good terms and have kept in touch since their time together came to an abrupt end nearly three years ago.
This is concerning for several reasons. First, the continuing bickering among differing ownership factions is never welcome news. Second, this again raises the concerns about whether this search will be anything more than a song and dance. Perry is on good terms with Ranadive, Perry worked for Joe Dumars in Detroit, and worked alongside Ken Catanella. With so many connections to the decision-makers in this process, one has to wonder if the process will be more than a farce.
The one hope is that the process is truly being led by Mike Forde of Sportology. Shams Charania and Amick reported yesterday that the Kings would be bringing in Forde to lead the search.