One of the biggest pending free agents in basketball will not hit the market and is re-signing with his squad. Shams Charania, the prominent NBA insider and newsbreaker, told Complex Sports Monday night that he’s staying with The Athletic and has agreed to a new contract with the media outlet where his reporting and writing has appeared since 2018. “I’m thrilled to be staying and look forward to continue growing with a company that is still so hungry and motivated,” Charania said.
As per John Ourand’s SBJ Media newsletter at Sports Business Journal, Charania’s deals with both those companies expire later this month (two years after he signed them), and that could lead to him moving on from one or both of those roles. Here’s more on that from Ourand: Shams Charania’s deals with The Athletic and Stadium are up at the end of the month, and he has started exploring whether to move to other outlets when his contracts end. What makes this situation so unique is that it is possible that the 26-year old Charania could switch outlets in the middle of the playoffs; the NBA Finals are slated to start Sept. 30. Typically August is a slow month on the NBA calendar. Not this year. The Chicago-based Charania could decide to re-up with The Athletic or Stadium, both of which have made moves to keep him.
ESPN was reportedly in the hunt for Charania back in the summer of 2018, and while they already have quite a prominent NBA insider in Adrian Wojnarowski, Woj and Shams worked together well in the past at Yahoo’s The Vertical. And ESPN has maybe more incentive than anyone else to add Charania, as they prioritize having their own reporters breaking the news of the day, whether that’s for the on-screen Bottom Line ticker, for ESPN.com or ESPN social media outlets, or for appearances on the likes of SportsCenter and other studio programming.
And if a Stadium-RSN expansion happens, keeping Charania at Stadium might make a lot of sense. The non-YES networks currently have local broadcast rights to 16 NBA teams, and the idea of a regional networks-wide reporter has been tried before, with NBC’s RSNs bringing on Tom Haberstroh in that role in October 2018. And Stadium has already been able to use Charania in a lot of other content, including daily news shows and that Rose documentary. So it makes sense that they’re trying to keep him.
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Schroder said that he has not spoken to Lakers coach Frank Vogel about his desire to start, however his representatives, Alex Saratsis and Jeff Austin of Octagon, discussed that aspect with the Lakers front office prior to L.A.’s trading guard Danny Green and the No. 28 pick in the draft to the Thunder to complete the deal. “I think my agent talked to the organization before they was trading me,” he said “So, that’s that.”
The Lakers have not settled upon their starting lineup, sources told ESPN. Though Schroder will be considered for the starting point guard spot, he could also be asked to fill in off the bench, sources said.