Yahoo’s Star Basketball Reporter Adrian Wojnarowski Is Headed To ESPN

In the wake of last week’s massive layoffs at ESPN (thanks to declining cable revenue) where as many as 100 people were let go, the cable sports giant has actually made a big hire. Adrian Wojnarowski, the star NBA reporter who currently works for Yahoo, is headed to the Worldwide Leader.

Sources say that Wojnarowski will start working for ESPN after the NBA draft in June. ESPN also has plans to bring over some of his staff of “The Vertical,” the NBA site he launched in 2016. He Tweeted about the prospect of talent returning to The Vertical when he said he was excited to see Tom Crean back.

Wojnarowski is easily the highest profile reporter covering the league right now, and is an absolute scoop machine. He’s most well known for being the first on player trades and signings, and often shares his scoops in real time on Twitter. If you’re a fan of basketball at all, you need to be following him.

Hiring him signals big things for ESPN though. By acquiring the biggest name on the market, ESPN is saying they’re not “sinking” as many people project. Instead, they’re just narrowing their focus.

It was just in 2016 that Wojnarowski started “The Vertical” site as part of a four year deal with Yahoo worth millions of dollars. His departure means that Verizon (scheduled to acquire Yahoo for $4.5 billion this June), will be missing out on the biggest name in that deal, so you can imagine there’s some frustration on their end. But, that’s the nature of the business (both media and sports). Yahoo reportedly told Verizon that Wojnarowski was likely on the way out though, so the move wasn’t entirely a surprise.

Wojnarowski’s departure has been rumored for a while, with some people speculating he would leave last year, and Deadspin reporting in February of this year that he was departing.