New role likely for VP Mark Tatum

Incoming NBA commissioner Adam Silver is expected to promote league executive Mark Tatum to deputy commissioner, multiple sources told ESPN.

Tatum, who would become one of the highest-ranking African-Americans in professional sports, has been with the NBA the past 14 years and previously worked for Major League Baseball. He's currently executive vice president of global marketing partnerships and focuses on the league's relationship with top sponsors and its television and media partners.

Tatum, 45, also manages the partnership between the NBA and USA Basketball.

Silver currently is the league's deputy commissioner and COO. His first major project when he takes over for David Stern on Saturday is to negotiate new television deals, and Tatum is expected to be a strong partner in that process.

Tatum graduated from Cornell and Harvard Business School. He has also worked for Pepsi and Procter & Gamble.