ESPN laid off a half-dozen staffers who covered the NBA as part of about 100 job cuts last week, but the company is adding the highest-profile reporter on the NBA beat.
Yahoo Sports’ Adrian Wojnarowski has finalized a deal with ESPN and will begin working for the company by the start of NBA free agency on July 1, a person with knowledge of the deal who is not authorized to speak publicly confirmed to USA TODAY Sports. Recode was the first to report a deal had been finalized.
Wojnarowski will be joined at ESPN by other staffers of The Vertical, the NBA-dedicated website and podcast launched by Yahoo Sports last year.
ESPN spokesperson Mike Soltys declined to comment when reached by USA TODAY Sports.
Wojnarowski has been one of the go-to sources for breaking NBA news for years, especially via his Twitter account, which has nearly 1.7 million followers. It is unclear what his role will be and whether he will appear on TV.
ESPN laid off at least seven staffers who primarily covered the NBA for the network, including Marc Stein, David Thorpe, Ethan Strauss and Henry Abbott.
When the layoffs were announced last week, ESPN president John Skipper wrote in a memo to staffers that “a handful of new jobs will be posted to fill various needs.”
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