Unless you’ve been highly recruited player in high school, there’s no real practice for NBA free agency. Well, unless you’re one of the four biggest players in the NBA today and your endorsement with Nike is near an end. Enter Kevin Durant. With his current shoe deal close to expiration, the New York Post reports Under Armour could step in and swoop’s Nike’s third biggest star after in KD.
Kevin Durant won’t hit the free agent market until July 2016 but the NBA’s Most Valuable Player is on the verge of landing a blockbuster endorsement deal that could influence his future on the court as well.
According to a person familiar with negotiations, Durant, whose seven-year, $60 million deal with Nike is expiring, could earn as much as $30 million annually if he signs with Under Armour Inc., whose headquarters are in Durant’s home state of Maryland.
With money to throw out like this, Under Armour could make themselves a player in the shoe game as obtain Durant could move the needle on the market. For the last few years, the Nike trio of Kevin Durant, LeBron James, and Kobe Bryant have dominated on- and off-the-court wear outside of the Jordan Brand.
In February, it was reported that Kevin Durant ranked second in shoe sales behind LeBron James and ahead of Kobe Bryant. Per SportsOneSource, Durant’s shoe sales increased by 400% from 2013 to 2014.
As of now, Under Armour sponsors Sacramento Kings forward Derrick Williams, Charlotte Hornets guard Kemba Walker, Detroit Pistons guard Brandon Jennings, and Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry.