The Sacramento Kings today announced the hiring of Jason Levien to their Basketball Operations staff as Team General Counsel/Assistant General Manager, effective December 15, 2008, according to President of Basketball Operations Geoff Petrie.

Levien’s primary responsibilities include drafting and management of players, coaching and management contracts, assisting in salary cap planning and analysis and overseeing team compliance with all NBA rules and procedures. He will also assist in scouting and report directly to Petrie and Vice President of Basketball Operations Wayne Cooper.

Levien, a former NBA player agent, represented more than a dozen NBA players over the past decade, guiding his clients through their careers which included navigating the NBA Draft process, free agency and contract negotiations. His clients included Luol Deng (Chicago Bulls), Udonis Haslem (Miami Heat) and the Kings’ Kevin Martin. In addition to negotiating Martin’s long-term extension with Sacramento in 2007, Levien negotiated the largest contract in Bulls’ history in July 2008.

“Jason brings a breadth of experience and expertise which will enhance the Kings Organization,” explained Petrie. “He is bright, knowledgeable and has an established network of resources which are valuable.”

Having traveled the globe evaluating basketball talent, Levien represented a number of international players drafted into the NBA and professional basketball players in more than 15 countries. He developed a reputation for finding talented players that were either overlooked or flew under the radar.

“I’ve known Geoff Petrie for the better part of a decade and there’s nobody in the basketball world that I respect more than him,” said Levien. “Geoff, combined with what I think of the ownership in the Maloof’s, who are incredible owners, passionate basketball fans and successful business people, made this opportunity unique and attractive. I’m looking forward to contributing in any and every way. This team has a lot of young, talented pieces and to be a part of the future was something that was very attractive and exciting to me. To go from the agent side of representing players to being a part of a team and organization is sort of an out of the box move, but it’s something I’m thrilled about.”

Levien has also spent time working in politics, including serving as the speechwriter for the Keynote Address at the 2000 Democratic National Convention and in The White House.

Levien is a graduate of Pomona College in Claremont, where he was a member of the basketball team. He served as an editor of the Michigan Law Review while earning his law degree and master’s in public policy from the University of Michigan. Levien was later awarded a fellowship at Harvard Law School.