The NBA trade deadline is looming, and for NBA teams that means the phones are ringing incessantly and discussions about potential swaps of players, draft picks, rights and money are ramping up. For NBA fans it means refreshing Twitter and waiting for Yahoo!’s Adrian Wojnarowski and the rest of the NBA’s news breakers to give us the latest trade scoops and rumors.
Wojnarowski is the best in the business at getting scoops, and he’s parlayed that skill into his own site on Yahoo! called The Vertical, but his time with Yahoo! may be coming to an end soon as in an ironic twist, there is a report that the ultimate NBA trade reporter may be on the move himself.
According to Deadspin’s Kevin Draper, Wojnarowski is in serious talks to leave Yahoo! and go to ESPN and is close to an agreement. Wojnarowski is in the second year of a four-year contract with Yahoo! and, as Draper notes, that complicates him leaving Yahoo! and could “take months to sort out,” but either through an exit clause or with a buyout, it appears as though the NBA’s biggest source of breaking news may be headed to ESPN soon.
Draper also says that Woj won’t be the only one leaving Yahoo! for ESPN, as other members of The Vertical team are likely to be joining him, although the names of those that will leave with him are unknown. This would be a huge loss for Yahoo!’s basketball coverage team, which assembled a veritable All-Star team of reporters and analysts for The Vertical at Woj’s behest.
Bringing Woj and his rolodex over from Yahoo! would be a huge addition for the sports media giant and an interesting move considering how combative Woj has been with ESPN in his time at Yahoo! It would be a huge coup for ESPN and would give them the one piece of the NBA reporting puzzle they’ve lacked the most in recent years.
Marc Stein and Chris Haynes are very good news breakers and ESPN has many team reporters that can get local scoops, but no one is on the level of Wojnarowski nationally at getting good information and breaking it first.