The way we consume the NBA, Woj, Windhorst, and Lowe are as important to us as most players. When they switch teams we follow (Woj and Stein come to mind) and they can chape the narrative. I always wondered, how much do they get paid?
Zach Lowe is one of the most popular NBA writers out there. His podcast and ten things are a must for every NBA fan, so you know he is valuable for ESPN. Lowe’s contract is up and there are a lot of rumors around. Unlike the NBA, Lowe works in a free market environment so everyone is in play to offer him a designated veteran max.
The best estimate we know of dates back to 2016 when Lowe’s contract was up and he was in high demand. At that time Woj was at Yahoo running The Vertical and different reports had him between $6 million and $8 million for a four-year contract. In the meantime, Lowe has one of the most popular NBA podcasts and has started to appear more regularly on TV. As writer, podcast host and TV personality, he should get a significant pay bump.
The biggest competitor to ESPN retaining his services is, of course, The Athletic. They have been aggressively expanding their portfolio and Lowe would be a major get for them. They started developing their podcast network and getting Lowe would be immensely beneficial for them. The Bleacher Report was heavily involved in bidding for Lowe in 2016 and rumored to have offered a million dollars per year. But, since Time Warner merged with AT&T, Bleacher has been letting talent go.
When looking at all the reporting, seems Lowe is now a million-per-year level talent. He may not create so much buzz as Steven A.’s rants or Woj Bombs, but one of the best writers in NBA has a faithful following and will bring that audience wherever he goes.
It’s not likely, but reuniting with his former Grantland buddies at The Ringer would be amazing. Well, one can dream.