San Antonio Spurs’ star forward Kawhi Leonard and Jordan Brand nearly agreed to a contract extension worth over $20 million but negotiations have broken down, according to several sources that spoke with ESPN.
Leonard, one of the league’s brightest stars, is making less than $500,000 per year from his endorsement deal with Jordan Brand — a small sum considering some of the brand’s athletes make nearly $10 million per season.
Known for its stinginess in granting signature shoe lines, the extension did not include a signature shoe for Leonard. Jordan Brand has only created signature sneaker lines for Carmelo Anthony, Chris Paul, Dwyane Wade, Russell Westbrook, and Michael Jordan in its long history.
Leonard and his representatives ultimately rejected the extension offer as they “didn’t feel that the new deal reflected the forward’s accomplishments and standing within the league,” sources told ESPN.
It is also important to note that Leonard is currently sitting out due to an injury to his right quadriceps tendinopathy; he has only appeared in nine games this season.
Leonard will become a restricted free agent if no agreement is made by October 1, meaning that he will have the opportunity to sign with any brand. However, Jordan Brand will have the right to match any offer.
Besides the shoe deal, Leonard also has to worry about his upcoming future with the San Antonio Spurs, as he is eligible for the “supermax” contract extension this summer. Leonard’s commitment to Jordan Brand remains unclear.
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Sources via ESPN