Adrian Wojnarowski, Bobby Marks, Jonathan Givony and Mike Schmitz will appear on ESPN’s NBA Draft Combine broadcast later this month, replacing Fran Fraschilla, Jeff Goodman, Jay Williams, and Tom Penn, sources tell Awful Announcing.
Jay Bilas will also feature prominently on the broadcast, while Maria Taylor will host.
Woj, Marks, Givony, and Schmitz all joined ESPN last year, shortly after the network laid off Marc Stein, Chad Ford, Henry Abbott, and several other prominent NBA personalities. The network’s decision to use its new hires in place of its usual go-tos on combine coverage seems to demonstrate how committed the network is to Woj and company as the face of its NBA coverage — even down at the draft level.
Per a source, it’s currently unclear whether ESPN will use a similar group of analysts for its NBA Draft coverage in June.
Last year, Rece Davis hosted the combine alongside analysts Bilas, Williams, Fraschilla, and Penn (plus Charlotte Hornets forward Frank Kaminsky), with Goodman featured on the broadcast as a reporter. Woj, Marks, Givony, and Schmitz had not yet joined the network at that point.
Everyone knows about Woj’s ability to break news, but Marks, Givony, and Schmitz boast strong credentials as well. Givony and Schmitz came to ESPN from the highly respected and popular NBA draft website Draft Express, while Marks worked with Woj at The Vertical as a salary cap guru. Those three will presumably provide the type of wonky analysis Fraschilla and Penn formerly offered, with Bilas still around to offer more traditional insight into prospects’ college performance.
The 2018 combine will air on ESPN2 on May 17 and 18. Sixty-nine draft prospects are expected to attend.