The NBA season stands roughly at its midpoint, but for the breaking news reporters who cover the league, Thursday’s trade deadline was like a final exam.

With the annual deadline comes endless rumors and whispers, culminating in a handful of big scoops. And as most of the sports world was watching to see which big-name players would be dealt to new teams, we at Awful Announcing were paying close attention to which reporters were breaking the most news. The storylines were irresistible, with heavy favorite Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN facing steep competition from his former Yahoo protege Shams Charania, as well as Marc Stein of The New York Times, whom Woj essentially replaced at ESPN.

We also kept an eye on other ESPN reporters to see if the network would encourage its deep bench of occasional news-breakers (Brian Windhorst, Ramona Shelburne, Marc Spears, Zach Lowe, etc.) to report on trades or have them leave the dirty work to Woj.

With the dust having settled, we tallied up the scoops and graded them on a scale of one to five Woj Bombs to determine which reporter “won” the deadline. We start at the beginning:

11:07 a.m. ET — Jameer Nelson to the Bulls — Shams

Shams jumps out to an early lead with a small but meaningful scoop. Maybe the 23-year-old Yahoo prodigy can give Woj a run for him money, as he did in last summer’s free agency?

Bomb rating: ?

12:05 p.m. ET — Larry Nance and Jordan Clarkson to the Cavs — Woj

Uh oh, here comes Woj. The Cavs were the team everyone was watching Thursday, and this initial report suggests a significant trade is brewing.

Bomb rating: ?? ?

12:09 p.m. ET — Luke Babbitt to the Heat — Marc Spears

Hey Marc Spears, good to see you.

Bomb rating: ?

12:10 p.m. ET — Isaiah Thomas to the Lakers — Woj

Now that’s some news! Shams had the same information literally one minute later, but our scoreboard is an all-or-nothing deal.

Bomb rating: ?? ? ?

12:11 p.m. ET — A first-round pick also to the Lakers — Shams

Shams and Woj both tweeted out the second part of this deal at 12:11 p.m., and since we don’t know for sure whose report hit the internet first, we’ll give Shams some credit for being right on it.

Bomb rating: ??

12:22 p.m. ET — James Ennis for Brice Johnson — Woj

Even while breaking blockbusters, Woj has time to report a swap of two guys the average NBA fan as never heard of.

Bomb rating: ?

12:58 p.m. ET — Three-way deal nets Cavs George Hill, Rodney Hood — Woj

This trade was a complicated, confusing mess, and Woj was all over it with little competition.

Bomb rating: ???

1:06 p.m. ET — Dwyane Wade returns to Miami — Woj

Uh oh, Woj is starting to run up the score.

Bomb rating: ??

1:25 p.m. ET — Bruno Coboclo for Malachi Richardson — Shams

Shams back on the board.

Bomb rating: ?

1:40 p.m. ET — Derrick Rose to be released — Shams

This isn’t a trade, but it’s useful trade-adjacent news.

Bomb rating: ??

1:48 p.m. ET — Timberwolves interested in Derrick Rose  — Marc Stein

Back in his ESPN days, Stein was all over the deadline. He seemed to take a step back this year but made a ripple here nonetheless.

Bomb rating: ?

2 p.m. ET — Cavaliers to sign Kendrick Perkins  — Marc Stein

Another one for Stein. We haven’t heard from Woj for a while…

Bomb rating: ?

2:03 p.m. ET — Emmanuel Mudiay to the Knicks in three-team deal — Woj

Oh there he is.

Bomb rating: ??

2:19 p.m. ET — Noah Vonleh to the Bulls — Woj

It seems that Milocan Rakovic’s name is actually Milovan Rakovic, but we’ll give Woj a pass. Busy day.

Bomb rating: ?

2:54 p.m. ET — Elfrid Payton to the Suns — Woj

Once again, Woj beats Shams by a single minute.

Bomb rating: ??

4:07 p.m. ET — Some other stuff — Shams

Shams deserves some credit for continuing to report after the deadline passed, even when the news was not exactly gripping.

Bomb rating: ?

And… that’s it.

Here’s a final tally of trade-deadline bombs:

Woj: ??????????????????

Shams: ???????

Stein: ??

Spears: ?

Well folks, sometimes the favorite comes out on top. Woj dominated the day, as he often does, while Shams put up a solid fight and Stein and Spears won some battles as well. The rest of ESPN’s reporters were quiet on the news-breaking front, although Lowe lent some informed insight on why Tyreke Evans wasn’t traded, Shelburne chipped in with some Isaiah Thomas perspective, and Windhorst offered a Wade-related nugget.

And with that our trade-deadline watch is through. Congrats to Woj on the well-earned victory, and we’ll see you July 1 for the start of free agency.

About Alex Putterman

Alex is a writer and editor for The Comeback and Awful Announcing. He has written for The Atlantic, VICE Sports,, and more. He is a proud alum of Northwestern University and The Daily Northwestern. You can find him on Twitter @AlexPutterman.