The NBA’s Best Newsbreaker Will Start At ESPN When Free Agency Begins

UPDATE (6/28): It’s official. Per an ESPN release, Woj’s first gig with the network will be an appearance on the Scott Van Pelt edition of SportsCenter and then jumping over to the NBA Free Agency Special with Rachel Nichols.

Woj isn’t exactly getting time to unpack his things and get rolling, but it’s a heck of a way to make an entrance.

Per the release:

“I have a determination to cover this sport with the same passion as fans have in following it,” Wojnarowski said. “ESPN’s commitment to gathering, breaking and covering NBA news – and its unparalleled combination of media to share those stories with a global audience – makes for an exciting opportunity to do that. There’s a lot of work to be done and I’m eager to get started.”

Also in the release was the news that Bobby Marks would be joining ESPN too.

The long-rumored move of Adrian Wojnarowski to ESPN from Yahoo! will apparently take place, fittingly, on the night that NBA free agency — the time of year when Woj arguably is at his most valuable — begins.

According to Sports Illustrated‘s Richard Deitsch, Wojnarowski’s first day at ESPN will be July 1, and you can expect him to be firing off free agency signings and rumors for the Worldwide Leader when the clock strikes midnight.

We first heard rumors of Wojnarowski joining his long-time rival in the sports media business back when ESPN’s layoffs began and some of the biggest newsbreakers, like Marc Stein, were announced as being let go. Stein has continued his work for ESPN through the NBA Draft, but Woj joining ESPN on July 1 likely signals the date of his departure as well.

It’s yet to be known what members of The Vertical team will be joining Wojnarowski at ESPN, but considering the company opened up a number of spaces on their NBA coverage and editorial team in recent months, it can be expected that a fair number of Wojnarowski’s Vertical companions will make the move as well. It’s long been assumed that Woj would insist on taking care of his people if he were to make a move, and with Stein, Chad Ford, Henry Abbott, and many more being let go by ESPN, plenty of space has been cleared for additions.