Chris Haynes continues to be a growth stock among NBA insiders.
The senior NBA insider for Yahoo Sports is nearing a deal to become TNT’s sideline reporter for its Tuesday Night NBA game schedule that tips off in late January, sources tell Front Office Sports.
TNT’s Tuesday Night coverage will feature an all-new look during the 2019-2020 season. After a two-year experiment, TNT is dumping the “Players Only” telecasts that featured former stars like Grant Hill, Derek Fisher, Kevin McHale, and Richard Hamilton.
If the deal is finalized, Haynes would be part of TNT’s revamped Tuesday Night cast which is expected to include Ian Eagle and Brian Anderson as play-by-play announcers; Adam Lefkoe of Bleacher Report as studio host; and Dwyane Wade, Shaquille O’Neal and Candace Parker as studio analysts.
Yahoo has given him the green light internally to take the TNT side job, said sources. Haynes could not be reached. TNT declined to comment Monday.
If the deal goes through, it will be Haynes’ second part-time TV gig. Fox Sports previously signed Haynes, Ric Bucher, Cuttino Mobley, and Matt Barnes as NBA contributors in April, according to Bobby Burack of The Big Lead. Haynes now frequently appears on FS1 shows such as “Speak for Yourself,” with Jason Whitlock and Marcellus Wiley, and “The Doug Gottlieb Show.”
The former ESPN reporter has enjoyed a meteoric media rise from security guard to Adrian Wojnarowski’s successor as Yahoo’s chief NBA news-breaker.
Haynes scored the first interview with Kevin Durant after the former league MVP joined the Brooklyn Nets from the Golden State Warriors. It was Durant’s first interview in two months. He’s also scored revealing one-on-ones with Kawhi Leonard of the Los Angeles Clippers and LeBron James of the Los Angeles Lakers.
Haynes has also helped rebuild Yahoo’s NBA coverage following the departure of Wojnarowski to ESPN in 2017 and Shams Charania to The Athletic in 2018. He has helped recruit rising NBA reporters Seerat Sohi and Vincent Goodwill for Yahoo’s NBA coverage team.
The Fresno State graduate started his journalism career as a minimum wage security guard by day and unpaid NBA freelancer at night. But after covering James’ Cleveland Cavaliers, Damian Lillard’s Portland Trail Blazers and Durant/Steph Curry’s Warriors, Haynes’ national profile has exploded in recent years.
Haynes is known to have some of the best sources in the NBA. Turning the usual player/insider dynamic on its head, Lillard broke the news of Haynes joining Yahoo from ESPN in 2018. “Sources: Free agent reporter @ChrisBHaynes reaches agreement with Yahoo Sports,” tweeted Lillard.