It looks like Jordan Brand is going to need to fer Kawhi Leonard more than $20 million over the next four years if they want to keep the Spurs’ All-Star on their roster.
According to ESPN, Jordan Brand was “very close” to completing a new four-year extension worth more than $20 million, but discussions broke down because Kawhi Leonard’s reps didn’t feel that the proposed deal reflected the caliber player that Leonard is, which includes finishing second and third in voting for the NBA’s Most Valuable Player award over the last two seasons.
Leonard, a former NBA Finals MVP and two-time Defensive Player the Year, currently earns less than $500,000 per year in his current endorsement contract with Jordan Brand, according to ESPN. He is under contract with Jordan Brand up until October 1st, and even if he does explore other options the company owns the right to match any competing fers he receives.
According to reports, Jordan Brand’s proposed contract extension with Kawhi Leonard did not include a signature sneaker which could be another reason why the two have not agreed to a deal yet. Milwaukee Bucks star Giannis Antetokounmpo signed an extension with Nike last year after they guaranteed him his own signature shoe.
ESPN’s Michael C. Wright and Ramona Shelburne explain:
In addition to potential becoming a “sneaker free agent” in October, Kawhi Leonard is also eligible for a five year, $219 million supermax extension this summer, according to ESPN.