Adrian Wojnarowski Rumors
Adrian Wojnarowski: Restricted free agent Kyle Singler has agreed to a five-year, nearly $25M extension with Oklahoma City, league source tells Yahoo Sports.
Adrian Wojnarowski: Jimmy Butler, Chicago Bulls finalizing a five-year, $95M maximum contract with player option after four years, league sources tell Yahoo.
Adrian Wojnarowski: Teams pursuing Butler, a restricted free agent, with offer sheets have given up and moved on, league sources tell Yahoo.
Adrian Wojnarowski: Sources: Before meeting LaMarcus Aldridge, Rockets group met w/ Corey Brewer in SoCal. No progress on deal. Brewer listening elsewhere too.
Do you have to keep your phone on loud in the middle of the night? Adrian Wojnarowski: This job, for me, it’s a 52-week-a-year job. It’s not about cramming. To me, it’s an ongoing conversation that you have to be willing to have for 52 weeks a year. You can’t just call people when you need something. And it’s a two-way street of sharing information. The work you do over the rest of the year sets you up to hopefully have success in these very intense periods.
Do you have to be on the phone constantly, even when you’re on vacation or with the family? Adrian Wojnarowski: I remember once, my son was young and we were in our front yard playing catch. And my phone was on the front stoop. I’d throw the ball and he’d throw it back. And then I’m like peeking over at the phone if there’s a text message or a missed call or whatever, right? So I throw a ball and I go over and look and he’s waiting or whatever. And I’m saying to myself, if I’m the guy across the street and I’m watching me, like, what kind of an asshole is that father over there? I always think of it this way: five days from now nobody is going to remember if I broke that story or not, but five days from now, five years, ten years, fifteen years, your kids are going to remember that you weren’t there, or that you were there but weren’t there. Nobody’s going to remember that you broke a trade. It’s a vapor.
I know your contract is coming up this year. Any chance you want to break some news on GQ about what might be next for you? Adrian Wojnarowski: I love Yahoo. I work with unbelievable people. It’s an unbelievable place. I’ve grown with it. It’s been a tremendous platform for me. I’m listening to what’s out there. I’m listening to some different ideas, some different things, as well as talking to Yahoo. Just to listen and see. It would take something extraordinary for me to leave Yahoo. It would.
Adrian Wojnarowski, the news-breaking NBA insider at Yahoo Sports, is being heavily courted by multiple media outlets – led by Sports Illustrated – to create basketball’s version of Peter King’s The MMQB, multiple sources tell The Big Lead. The buzz in Cleveland this week at the NBA Finals was that with Wojnarowski’s contract up later this year – before the 2015-2016 NBA season begins – multiple outlets are pitching him on the idea of creating an NBA vertical that would become the internet’s top destination for basketball fans.
Adrian Wojnarowski: Detroit will send Kyle Singler to Oklahoma City, league sources tell Yahoo Sports.
Adrian Wojnarowski: So far, Pacers giving indications that they want to hold roster together, reintegrate Paul George and keep going this season.
Turning the world upside down, Draper makes mighty ESPN the victim of a malicious Woj, who uses his column to browbeat sources. Almost everyone quoted is or once was at ESPN. Draper notes piously that he tried to get people to talk on the record. Of course, when they wouldn’t–bombs away!–he notes, “In private, NBA reporters complain endlessly about Wojnarowski’s methods.”
Still, multiple sources say in 2012 Yahoo mistakenly forgot to exercise an option in Wojnarowski’s contract, and he unexpectedly found himself a writing free agent. NBA reporters Chris Sheridan and Bucher had left ESPN within the past year, and then-ESPN.com editor-in-chief Rob King came calling. They had a 45-minute telephone conversation but discussions never progressed beyond that stage, and the two never met in person. Said King through a spokesperson: “As per usual business operations, we had an exploratory conversation with Adrian when his contract expired, but before we had a chance to follow up, his agent informed us that he was staying at Yahoo.” A Bristol homecoming wasn’t in the cards.
Despite Wojnarowski’s past at ESPN—or perhaps because of it—his relationship with the network borders upon hatred as closely as anything in the sports media world. “I’ve had agents and executives tell me Woj has a jihad against ESPN,” said Bleacher Report’s (and formerly ESPN’s) Ric Bucher. “He has a mission to take ESPN down.” Bucher wasn’t the only person to use the word “jihad” to describe how Wojnarowski approaches competition with ESPN. Wojnarowski seizes every opportunity to take shots at ESPN, often referring to it as “that cheerleading network” or “a sports cable network” in his columns.
In 2010, the NBA fined Dumars $500,000 for leaking multiple confidential league memos to Wojnarowski, according to multiple sources. This matches the third largest publicly known fine the league has ever handed down. The NBA decided that too many memos were making it into the media, so they conducted a sting operation over several months. They would change a few words or numbers in different team’s copies of otherwise identical memos, so that when the memos leaked they could spot the small differences and trace them back to the leaker. This approach caught Dumars red-handed, as well as an executive from another team who was fined $12,500 for leaking to a draft-focused website.
In fact, it often appears as though Adrian Wojnarowski lets his sourcing dictate not just the topic but also the tone of his writing. In private, NBA reporters complain endlessly about Wojnarowski’s methods. Some of it is undoubtedly professional jealousy, but his body of work shows they also have a point.
When Wojnarowski began at Yahoo Sports in 2006 the site wasn’t known for its sports reporting. Wojnarowski singlehandedly changed that. “He is the one who made Yahoo, it is not Yahoo that made him,” says ESPN’s Brian Windhorst. Wojnarowski churns out reported columns at a furious pace and often publishes them in the middle of the night. “He is a complete freaking animal,” says New York Daily News Knicks reporter Frank Isola. “Adrian is basically a reporter on steroids.”
Wojnarowski now breaks news on Twitter so frequently that his fans have quit lumping his messages in with the millions of other “tweets” sent every day. Instead, basketball fans refer to them as #WojBombs. They are so essential to the functioning of the NBA that some league executives have turned on text notifications just for Wojnarowski’s tweets. “I signed a player, and my staff didn’t know that we got the guy yet, and I heard the cheering outside the office because they had seen Woj tweet it,” one team executive said. “I was still on the phone with the agent, negotiating areas of the exhibit, and Woj already had it.”
Adrian Wojnarowski: Spurs assistant, Sean Marks, will return to the front office, league source tells Yahoo Sports. Marks moved down to the bench to help Gregg Popovich this season, but plan was always to return upstairs. Spurs have big plans for Marks.
Adrian Wojnarowski: Spurs have hired European legend Ettore Messina as an assistant coach, team says.
Adrian Wojnarowski: Free agent process of Mike Miller pushes on, w/ Denver and Cleveland leading stretch run. “He’s legitimately torn,” source in talks says.
Adrian Wojnarowski: One GM tells me: A team needs to have $1.448M in cap space to bid on Boozer. That’s what Boozer’s minimum salary is.