By the time August hits both NBA Free Agency and Las Vegas Summer League will be over, but there is still one major hoops storyline worth monitoring during the dog days… the free agency of Yahoo’s premier NBA Insider, Shams Charania. The NY Post’s Andrew Marchand reports Shams’ contract with Yahoo expires next month.
Shams is the easy No. 2 follow on Twitter — just behind his old boss, Adrian Wojnarowski — when it comes to breaking NBA news so this is a big effin’ deal. Marchand lists ESPN, Bleacher Report, NBC Sports, and The Athletic (of course) as potential suitors for Shams’ services:
So if Yahoo doesn’t retain Charania, where could he wind up? ESPN could basically end the NBA scoop game by reuniting Wojnarowski and Charania in Bristol. Besides Wojnarowski, ESPN already has a strong array of NBA reporters, including Ramona Shelburne.
Turner/NBA TV/Bleacher Report could try to make a bigger impact in terms of competing with ESPN. Charania worked on Turner’s team-centric Final Four telecast that included his alma mater, Loyola. The Athletic, the two-plus-year-old subscription site that has raised $20 million, could try to build an NBA vertical around Charania the way it has with Ken Rosenthal on baseball.
Another option, according to sources, is NBC Sports Regional Networks. NBC owns the rights to about a third of NBA local broadcasts, including the Celtics and Bulls. It is looking for a national insider to appear on its pre- and postgame local shows across the country. Besides Charania, NBC has shown interest in Yahoo’s Chris Mannix for the job. Mannix already does work for NBC.
Gun to my head, I’m going to say The Athletic and ESPN will have lasers set on on Shams if he doesn’t re-up with Yahoo.
Sidenote: We should all be selfishly rooting against The Athletic to avoid dealing with the paywalls.