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NBA / Aug 6, 2014 / 10:30 pm

Report: Kevin Durant Close To $325 Million Endorsement Deal With Under Armour

Kevin Durant

Kevin Durant (Kirby Lee, USATODAY)

It appears increasingly likely that Kevin Durant will be leaving longtime basketball king Nike for hoops upstart Under Armour. The biggest question on the basketball world’s mind now is if he’ll do the same with the Oklahoma City Thunder and Washington Wizards in the summer of 2016. Durant reportedly cancelled a trip to Nike headquarters and is on the verge of accepting a mind-numbing $325 million endorsement contract with Under Armour, which happens to be located in Baltimore, MD right near his hometown.

James Briggs of the Baltimore Business Journal has more on KD’s abruptly aborted trip to the Nike campus in Beaverton, OR.

The NBA’s Most Valuable Player was supposed to be at Nike Inc.’s Oregon headquarters today. He didn’t make the trip.

That could be good news for Under Armour Inc., which reportedly is set to offer Oklahoma City forward Kevin Durant a lucrative endorsement deal. Durant’s contract with Nike expired last week and he abruptly canceled a scheduled visit to Nike.

Briggs’ story also mentions an intentionally arcane tweet by UA executive Michael McBride. Given today’s and recent smoke, it’s not hard to guess at what McBride is hinting.

Jeff Ermann of insidemdsports.com then confirmed what seemed so obvious. It’s still tough to wrap your head around the number he’s reporting, though.

This is further confirmation that Durant’s potential deal with Under Armour is indeed worth $30 million per year. That’s a historic endorsement salary and one that could change the landscape of hoops footwear. Only LeBron James is more marketable than Durant, and the reigning MVP’s star somehow continues to rise despite its presence in a stratosphere reserved for the game’s true greats. KD’s best, amazingly, could be yet to come.

That UA is located in Durant’s hometown won’t influence his seemingly imminent free agency as much as many believe. It’s just a happy coincidence, and yet another aspect that will fuel rumors Durant will follow James’ footsteps by returning to his roots.

The contract is what matters here. Only the Thunder will be able to offer Durant an extra year of maximum salary when he’s a free agent, giving them an inherent advantage over a host of worthy competitors that will surely include the Wizards. If Durant is making such an outlandish – but appropriate – amount from Under Armour, though, the thinking goes that he’d be more comfortable sacrificing that extra fifth year of security.

But that’s all conjecture. We’ve only vague ideas about what Oklahoma City, Washington, and other Durant suitors will look like in two years’ time even though so many teams have situated themselves to have a chance at landing him. Then there’s the looming lockout that will take place the season after Durant’s free agency; it’s unclear how that will affect his decision, too.

This development would certainly be a feather in Washington’s cap, but it hardly makes it the favorite for KD. Even assuming this increases the Wizards’ odds of bringing him home is setting yourself up for disappointment. Two things, however, seem for sure: Durant stands to earn at least $30 million per year from his shoe endorser, and Under Armour could be making a giant leap in the basketball kicks and apparel game.

For now, any other takeaway is mere speculation.

(H/T Bullets Forever)

Is this a sign Durant will sign with the Wizards in 2016?

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  • Peyton

    Under Armour is based in Baltimore, not Washington. Close, but no cigar. (they’re roughly 40 miles apart)

  • The Worm 91

    wow..really? they just release his new shoes and now he goes UA? that $$ though..

  • diablofreak

    HE RICH!

  • Bruce Wayne

    UA officially making it big now!

  • Jeremy

    Your ankles will be all f***ed up in these shoes…

  • Guest

    You’re joking right? I’ve twisted/sprained my ankle 3 times playing ball in my Nikes. Never once in my UA shoes. Now that I think about it, none of my teammates have had any ankle injuries since we switched to ua

  • mremwo

    You’re joking right? I’ve twisted/sprained my ankle 3 times playing ball
    in my Nikes. Never once in my UA shoes. Now that I think about it, none
    of my teammates have had any ankle injuries since we switched

  • Delvis Taveras

    Honestly what is he supposed to do say no … That is unless Nike can come up with a better offer smh.