The Toronto Raptors were hard at work on Sunday, which meant a busy day for media insiders. Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN was all over reserve low-post player Chris Boucher re-upping, and Shams Charania of The Athletic broke the news that journeyman center Aron Baynes had also agreed to a deal. But the day wasn’t complete until Adam Schefter, who makes his living as an ESPN football insider, delivered Raptors news of his own.
It was a crazy week for NBA reporters
Holding the draft and opening the free agency period in the same week means a frenzy of developments across the entire NBA. Doing so with the start of the 2020-21 season just over a month away has made it an intense lead-up to Thanksgiving.
That applies to general managers and players but also to the media. Local and national reporters have been going full bore. Some of the news has involved big names – Anthony Davis indicating he’ll remain with the Los Angeles Lakers but not yet committing to a contract – and other news has been about big money, like the $120 million the Charlotte Hornets gift-wrapped for Gordon Hayward.
What the Toronto Raptors did on Nov. 22 didn’t fall under either heading, but it did shore up the roster.
As ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported, Chris Boucher, who played sparingly in his first two pro years before making 62 appearances last season, decided to stay with Toronto for $13.5 million over two seasons.
Shams Charania of The Athletic reported that center Aron Baynes had also agreed to a deal. Baynes, who averaged 11.5 points and 5.6 rebounds for the Phoenix Suns last season, took a two-year, $14.3 million deal.
Adam Schefter fills in the final detail of the Toronto trifecta
Despite the news generated by the NBA draft and start of free agency, the autumn traditionally belongs to the NFL, and that’s especially true on Sundays. That’s the day of the week that the big-name reporters like Adam Schefter are at their busiest, passing along injuries reports, lineup changes, and assorted scuttlebutt.
Schefter, who makes his living as an ESPN football insider and is one of the big names in NFL reporting circles, apparently had his fill of football for the day and moved on to new challenges while watching the Kansas City Chiefs edge the Las Vegas to cap the day’s action.
Out of nowhere, Adam Schefter tweeted a minor NBA scoop of his own. Labeling it a “mini-bomb” in a nod to ESPN colleague and uber NBA insider Adrian Wojnarowski, he revealed that former Atlanta Hawks forward DeAndre’ Bembry agreed to go to the Toronto Raptors for $4 million over two years.
Bembry is a caraway seed on the bun of NBA news. He made just 23 starts in four seasons with the Hawks and averaged 5.8 points in 21.3 minutes a game last season. Still, Schefter gets credit for being first with the news, always a source of pride in a competitive media world.
‘Woj’ offers the perfect reaction to Adam Schefter’s scoop
Although ESPN pays Adam Schefter primarily for his football expertise, he is a bit of a basketball junkie who fills in from time to time as one of the network’s NBA sideline reporters. So, getting the news of DeAndre’ Bembry and reporting it during the third quarter of an NFL game had to be fun for him.
ESPN colleague Adrian Wojnarowski understood as much. It’s rare that NBA news breaks without ‘Woj’ either being the first to report it or filling in important details if someone else tweets the headline first.
Wojnarowski couldn’t resist having some fun by retweeting Schefter with a subtle reminder that his colleague was out of his league – if not figuratively, then certainly literally.
“They’re in the NBA, not the CFL,” Wojnarowski joked.
How did Schefter stumble into reporting NBA news on a Sunday night? Well, it might be a coincidence, but Sports Illustrated reported that Schefter and Bembry are both represented by Creative Artists Agency.
All stats courtesy of Basketball Reference.