The negotiations between Kahwi Leonard and the Jordan Brand reportedly bogged down because the San Antonio Spurs forward’s camp believes that the contract offer was too cheap.
According to the ESPN report, the four-year contract extension offer for Leonard is worth about $2 million. That’s a huge bump from the $500,000 he’s receiving right now to represent the brand.
Leonard’s contract with the Nike affiliate will expire on Oct. 1 this year. If another shoe manufacturer will offer the two-time Defensive Player of the Year a contract, Jordan has the right to match the amount within 10 days.
It’s pressure time for the Jordan executives because they only have until July to close the deal with Leonard. If there’s no contract in place, the MVP candidate has a right to listen to the offers from other shoe manufacturers.
The Jordan Brand has always been selective with the type of athletes it wants to represent the famous logo. It’s also a bit stingy when it comes to contract offers.
In the NBA, there are only 21 players who represent the Jordan Brand. Aside from Leonard, the superstars are Blake Griffin, Chris Paul, Carmelo Anthony, Jimmy Butler and Russell Westbrook.
Westbrook last year signed a 10-year contract that will lock him up as the face of the brand. While the amount was never disclosed, it was described as the most lucrative that the brand offered to an NBA player.
The shoe deal also includes street sneakers, as well as a regular donation to Westbrook’s foundation.
Reports said that no superstar in the league is receiving more than $10 million per season from the shoe brand. In contrast, Houston Rockets shooting guard James Harden is receiving more than $15 million per year to represent Adidas. Kevin Durant, meanwhile, signed a shoe deal with Nike worth at least $300 million to include royalties.