ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski is so good at breaking NBA news because he is hardwired to do it. That also means he can’t turn it off, and that caused some conflict with ESPN, Yahoo, and Turner’s much-promoted decision to not tip picks during the draft at the behest of the NBA.

But as past drafts have shown, Woj’s info outpaces the broadcast easily, and he’s clearly not unplugging for the night, which makes his presence on ESPN’s coverage interesting; he’s not an analyst (though he certainly knows the game), so what can he really bring to the table if he’s not talking about what’s about to happen?

Woj has responded with the old “Exact words!” strategy, going very much against the spirit of the NBA’s request to not tip picks while pretty much just tipping the picks. It started when Woj basically reported the top of the draft a few hours before it began, although the Mavs and Hawks made a trade that meant his prediction for picks 5 and 6 were flipped:

And during the draft, he’s essentially using an idiom thesaurus to find ways to say a team is strongly leaning towards picking a certain player:

And it hasn’t just been on Twitter; here’s Woj’s hit that was ostensibly about LeBron’s upcoming free agency, but included Woj saying the Cavs had Alabama point guard Collin Sexton on top of their draft board:

And, a few moments later, we got this:

It’s been more amusing than anything, unless you’re the type that wants to learn the picks and trades from Adam Silver and no one else. And hey, that’s fair, and if that is you, you’re probably pretty annoyed by how this has gone. (The NBA might be annoyed too, though we won’t know that for a while.)

But it has allowed ESPN to keep up with Twitter more than normal; when the Hawks took Luka Doncic for the Mavs, for example, Maria Taylor asked him about his contact with Dallas and his thoughts on going there. Doncic still had the Hawks cap on, but it wasn’t as much of a charade as it has been in prior years. Of course, Woj is at least trying to walk the line; Yahoo’s Shams Charania has dispensed with all pretense:

Woj might get to that point too by the end of the night, too.

About Jay Rigdon

Jay is a columnist at Awful Announcing. He is not a strong swimmer. He is probably talking to a dog in a silly voice at this very moment.