- Ronald Cortes/Getty Images
- Talks have stalled between Kawhi Leonard and Jordan Brand over a new shoe deal as Leonard believes that the new deal does not offer him what he’s worth.
- Leonard’s unwillingness to do the marketing involved in having a lucrative shoe line hurts his value despite his on-court excellence.
- This report follows rumors that Leonard is unhappy with the San Antonio Spurs organization as well.
The bizarre saga of Kawhi Leonard’s 2017-18 season has taken another turn, this time not involving the San Antonio Spurs.
According to a report from ESPN, talks between Leonard and Jordan Brand over signing a new shoe deal have stalled.
Leonard and Jordan Brand were apparently “very close” to a four-year-deal which would have paid Leonard over $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,” according to the report.
Leonard’s offer from Jordan Brand would reportedly pay him a similar amount to what Blake Griffin earns, and less than Kyrie Irving and Damian Lillard. It would also be quite a bit less than Leonard’s fellow perennial All-NBA candidates such as James Harden, Stephen Curry, Kevin Durant, and LeBron James.
As NBA reporter Nate Jones notes, there’s a lot more to a shoe contract than on-court performance, and it is the other stuff that is likely hurting Leonard’s earning ability.
Signature shoe deals aren’t just about on court play. Leonard does almost no PR and marketing that most signature athletes do. Doesn’t really put himself out there. If he did more of that, he would have more leverage. https://t.co/JzYHlx77g4
— Nate Jones (@JonesOnTheNBA) March 4, 2018
This story is but the latest example of an odd amount of behind-the-scenes tension that has surrounded the normally quiet and workman-like Leonard this season. He has missed all but nine games this year with a quadriceps injury, and rumors have abounded that Leonard is feuding with the San Antonio Spurs organization.