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Kawhi Leonard, Jordan Brand Shoe Contract Negotiations Reportedly 'Have Stalled'

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured ColumnistMarch 4, 2018

San Antonio Spurs forward Kawhi Leonard (2) moves the ball up court during the second half of an NBA basketball game against the Denver Nuggets, Saturday, Jan. 13, 2018, in San Antonio. San Antonio won 112-80. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)
Eric Gay/Associated Press

Contract extension talks between San Antonio Spurs superstar Kawhi Leonard and the Jordan Brand shoe company have reportedly "stalled," according to Michael C. Wright and Ramona Shelburne of ESPN.com.

Per that report, the two sides "came 'very close' to completion on a new four-year extension worth more than $20 million. But discussions broke down abruptly because representatives for Leonard didn't feel that the new deal reflected the forward's accomplishments and standing within the league, sources said."

Leonard is reportedly making less than $500,000 per year from his endorsement deal with Jordan Brand, and his current deal does not include a signature shoe.

The offered extension doesn't offer the opportunity for a signature shoe, either, which also lessens the value of the pact since such deals "typically include a 5 percent royalty on all logo footwear and apparel sold, allowing for a handful of the game's biggest stars to earn well north of eight figures annually from brands."

Only Carmelo Anthony, Chris Paul, Dwyane Wade and Russell Westbrook have had signature shoes with Jordan Brand. But Leonard, 26, is one of the top stars in the NBA, with two top-three finishes in the MVP voting the past two seasons, two All-Star Game appearances and two Defensive Player of the Year Awards to his name.

Right quadriceps tendinopathy has cost him all but nine games this season, however.

In basketball terms, Leonard is set to become a restricted free agent on the shoe market once his contract expires with Jordan Brand on Oct. 1. While he'll be free to sign with any company at that point, the Nike division will have the opportunity to match any offer.

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Per the ESPN report:

"Once the brand's exclusive negotiating window closes in July, Leonard and his representatives can start fielding potential new offers from other companies. Pitches are typically held in late August and early September, as players historically look to resolve shoe deals before the start of training camp in late September. Jordan Brand would have 10 business days to match any competing offer sheet signed by the forward."

The two sides are reportedly not holding contract discussions at the moment, and it's "unclear" if Leonard wants to remain with Jordan Brand.

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