Adrian Wojnarowski in 2017. Adrian Wojnarowski in 2017. Xxx Adrian Wojnarowski 17119 Jpg S Bkn

For years, league insider Adrian Wojnarowski has dominated the NBA Draft, cleverly skirting rules against tipping picks with clever euphemisms like “fixated” and “zeroed in.” However, that tradition will end this year with Wojnarowski no longer tweeting picks, instead prioritizing “storytelling” and real-time trades.

“I’m not doing the picks this year,” Woj revealed during his recent appearance on The Ryen Russilo Show. “The pick-by-pick, I don’t think it has value anymore for me or ESPN.”

Drafts tend to be a feeding frenzy on social media with insiders like Woj and Shams Charania frantically working the phones, racing to see who gets the scoop first. And while that dynamic will likely play out during next month’s free agency, Wojnarowski won’t be covering that beat on draft night, making a conscious decision to focus his attention elsewhere.

“Going from Yahoo to ESPN and sort of seeing what the responsibility is on the broadcast and feeling that I need to be more fully engaged in the show,” said Wojnarowski, who will appear alongside ESPN analysts JJ Redick, Jay Bilas, host Malika Andrews and front-office insider Bobby Marks on Thursday night’s draft coverage live from Brooklyn’s Barclays Arena. “I think now, for me, it’s important to stay on top of the trades and the movement and be able to do a little more storytelling of what’s going on, on the board, in real-time, in the draft instead of having my head buried trying to get New Orleans’ pick at 14 that’s obviously going to be out momentarily on the show.”

That all sounds logical enough with Wojnarowski, in continuing his transformation from news-breaker to on-air personality, making a concerted effort to be more present during this year’s broadcast. “You have 120 minutes,” Woj reasoned. “You have to decide what’s the best use of that time. And I think the best use of that time is not getting the pick out.”

Woj’s Rolodex of contacts and league sources is arguably where his bread is buttered, raising his profile to a point where he became the subject of a high-stakes bidding war in 2017. But with experience comes wisdom and perspective, prompting Woj, after years of burning the candle at both ends, to pick his battles, judiciously delegating responsibilities to avoid being stretched too thin.

[The Ringer]

About Jesse Pantuosco

Jesse Pantuosco joined Awful Announcing as a contributing writer in May 2023. He’s also written for Audacy and NBC Sports. A graduate of Syracuse’s S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications with a master’s degree in creative writing from Fairfield University, Pantuosco has won three Fantasy Sports Writers Association Awards. He lives in West Hartford, Connecticut and never misses a Red Sox, Celtics or Patriots game.