The 2021 NBA Trade Deadline took place today, as you probably know if you spent five seconds perusing Twitter. The deadline doubles as a war between Adrian Wojnarowski and Shams Charania, basketball’s premier insiders. This is their Super Bowl, the day they battle for breaking news by tapping into every source imaginable. Sometimes, one breaks the news merely seconds before the other.
Today, it was all Woj. Wojnarowski blew Charania out of the water breaking transactions all day. Charania broke only five trades before his ESPN counterpart: the JaVale McGee-Nuggets trade, the Aaron Gordon-Nuggets trade, the George Hill-Sixers trade, the Brad Wanamaker-Hornets trade, and the J.J. Redick-Mavericks trade. Charania was the first to hint that Rajon Rondo could be traded to the Clippers, but Wojnarowski broke the actual trade; conversely, Shams scored one over Woj when Wojnarowski tweeted the Celtics and Magic were finalizing a trade involving Evan Fournier, but Charania was the one to break the official news that the transaction had gone through.
Meanwhile, Wojnarowski broke all sorts of news all day, big and small. He kicked off the day of dealing by being the first to report on the first bombshell of the day when the Magic sent Nikola Vucevic and Al-Fariq Aminu to the Bulls for Otto Porter Jr. and Wendell Carter Jr. along with two first-round picks. He broke the details of the Gordon trade first, even if Charania was the first to report that the trade was happening. The same happened with the Hill transaction, reporting on the pieces being moved while also breaking it was a three-team deal. Wojnarowski had everything from the Norm Powell trade to the Nemanja Bjelica deal. Most of us don’t care that Troy Brown and Mo Wagner were traded by Washington to Chicago for Daniel Gafford and Chandler Hutchinson, but you know how we all found out? A Wojnarowski tweet.
Woj didn’t stop once the deadline ended at 3 p.m., either. He broke what is arguably the two most impactful reports of the day in succession around 3:10 ET. First, he reported Victor Oladipo would be headed to the Heat (although Charania broke who else was involved), quickly followed up by breaking that Kyle Lowry would be staying in Toronto. Charania made a good effort to catch up to his rival in the waning minutes of the deadline and late deals that came through the transaction wire immediately afterwards, but Wojnarowski nailed the coffin shut with the Oladipo and Lowry news.
All in all, it was a dominating performance by ESPN’s best NBA newsbreaker. This is why the network pays the man. Hats off to him.