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Report: Kevin Durant could earn $30 million annually in endorsement deal

Aug 5, 2014, 10:50 PM EDT

2013 NBA All-Star Game 2013 NBA All-Star Game

Kevin Durant is a very likable basketball player and very likable person.

That combination has him on the verge of a huge payday.

Frank Isola of the New York Daily News:

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.

Nike and Adidas are also in talks with Durant

Even if the salary cap rises to $80 million in 2016 – the highest projection I’ve seen – and Durant re-signs on a max five-year contract with max raises, he STILL wouldn’t make $30 million in the final year of the deal.

This is a ton of money for even an NBA superstar.

If Durant can leverage Nike or Adidas into a higher offer, all the better. But Under Armour has set a heck of a starting point.

The big question: What would this contract mean for Durant’s 2016 free agency?

Would Under Armour ties lead him near the company’s base and to the Wizards? Would his exact salary be tied to playing in a certain market? Would the security of a massive shoe contract convince him to give his NBA team a discount?

Durant will have a couple years to work through the implications on his free agency. First, he must decide which company will pay him a ton of money to sponsor him.

  1. cbking05 - Aug 5, 2014 at 11:06 PM

    ProWings….sign with them

  2. antistratfordian - Aug 5, 2014 at 11:17 PM

    He’d be crazy to go to Under Armor. He’d get paid more annually, but his shoe sales would drop significantly.

    Okay, yes, it’s easy for me to say he’s crazy for accepting 30 million a year… but I wouldn’t do it. I’d stay with Nike for less.

    • asimonetti88 - Aug 6, 2014 at 12:25 AM

      Durant is a marketable star. Him signing with Under Armour would immediate boost sales. There was a time when Converse ruled the basketball shoe game. He’d be an idiot to take less.

      • antistratfordian - Aug 6, 2014 at 1:11 AM

        Durant’s Nike brand is skyrocketing right now. It actually grew 400% last year. KD and LeBron own the shoe space for active players. Nobody else is even close to those two. I think he should keep building.

        If he goes to UA he’d have to start from scratch with a company that has little international presence and whose footwear sales is a tiny fraction of what Nike does. They’re just not experts at it.

        So I would not expect Durant to sell $175 million worth of shoes in any year at Under Armour like he did last year at Nike.

      • asimonetti88 - Aug 6, 2014 at 10:20 AM

        “Durant’s Nike brand is skyrocketing right now”

        No Durant’s brand is skyrocketing.

      • ecnuob51 - Aug 6, 2014 at 12:11 PM

        I’m very sure Kobe’s sold more than durants. Anyways it doesn’t really matter where kd goes if the shoe looks nice I’ll buy it. I remember the tmac Adidas and the iverson reeboks. Those were one of my favorite shoes of all time. It’s the player with the power not the brand. You yourself said kid and Lebron own the shoe market…well they are the best players currently so Nike has nothing to do with it

    • campcouch - Aug 6, 2014 at 2:17 AM

      Nothing says he can’t endorse Under Armour and Nike. Both companies can be selective on which items he endorses so as not to compete directly.

      • asimonetti88 - Aug 6, 2014 at 10:25 AM

        Yeah that will never happen.

  3. innovativethinking87 - Aug 5, 2014 at 11:33 PM

    Under Armors are ugly lol but it’s hard to say no to 30 million a year

  4. udub - Aug 5, 2014 at 11:34 PM

    Under Armour’s shoes are terrible and that is what basketball players sell. They barely sell any shoes let alone basketball specifically. If he leaves Nike it’s because he wants to be The Man. At Nike that’ll be LeBron for the foreseeable future. If he’s smart hed stick with Nike unless their offer is substantially less. Their superior marketing wing can help him become an even bigger star and parlay that into more lucrative secondary endorsements.

  5. tomtravis76 - Aug 5, 2014 at 11:46 PM

    Pretty sure they have a poaching plan in place for top basketball shoe designers if KD signs.

    Under Armour seems to be a very forward thinking sports apparel company. It’s better to be the face rather than just a name on the Nike roster. Have you seen Tom Brady’s deal with UA? Have you seen how many young MLB players are on the UA roster? Could be a very good fit for all involved.

    • asimonetti88 - Aug 6, 2014 at 12:31 AM

      Under Armour is run by Kevin Plank, who has to be one of my favorite entrepreneurs/executives right now. He started the company using money he had saved up from selling roses on Valentine’s Day at University of Maryland. He started making the shirts because he was always the sweatiest player on the football team and it frustrated him. He gave the shirts to his teammates, and as they went pro, asked they share it with their teammates. Eventually it took off.

      They’ve really grown and expanded and become a force in athletic apparel the last few years. They’re just entering the basketball market and I believe they will be a major name in short time.

      • money2long - Aug 6, 2014 at 1:14 AM

        Someone watches sportscenter

  6. haaaaasoooooo - Aug 6, 2014 at 1:17 AM

    CONVERSE???? I had a pair of the Granmama’s! They looked tough. “Looked tough,” and 3 months later I was back Nikes.

  7. davidly - Aug 6, 2014 at 4:01 AM

    He should go with the most ethical choice, which would require extensive research into the business and labor practices of the company. Nike’s is already known, so he shouldn’t go with them. But then, again, he is playing in a league for whom that is at best a secondary consideration, so the money will rule.

  8. jammer73 - Aug 6, 2014 at 7:13 AM

    UA shoes can’t be any worse than those POS Starbury’s.

  9. ravenswhat - Aug 6, 2014 at 7:16 AM

    If he signs with UA you can be sure that’s a sign he’s coming to the Wiz.

  10. sportsfan18 - Aug 6, 2014 at 11:08 AM

    He hasn’t signed with Under Armour yet…

    Nike will review the numbers that Duran’ts shoes are bringing them and they’ll decide to pony up more to KD and he’ll resign with Nike…

    I can’t imagine Nike giving up a cash cow like Durant without a fight.

    He makes Nike a lot of money.

  11. azarkhan - Aug 6, 2014 at 1:16 PM

    How can anyone expect Durant to live off a measly $30 million dollars a year? Fortunately he can supplement that with his basketball salary.

  12. ProBasketballPundit - Aug 6, 2014 at 4:09 PM

    Maybe now Durant can pitch in, help the Thunder pay the luxury tax. Clayton Bennett sure as heck won’t do it.

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