Report: Expect a bidding war for Giannis Antetokounmpo’s next shoe deal

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Giannis Antetokounmpo is an All-NBA level, franchise cornerstone player who can be a one-man highlight factory — and he’s just 22. Once he develops a steady jump shot — and he will, it’s improving — he will be unguardable. Last season he won Most Improved Player, soon he will be in the running for MVP.

The Greek Freak’s rise led to a massive four-year contract extension from the Bucks that kicks in next season (near but not quite max), but more than that it’s made him a guy that could sell a lot of shoes with a signature line. And that likely will make him a lot more money than what the Bucks are paying him.

Antetokounmpo’s “rookie” contract with Nike is up after this season (he gets just $25,000 a year right now), and Adidas is looking to steal him away, reports Nick DePaula of ESPN.

Once September comes to a close, his current footwear and apparel endorsement deal with Nike is set to expire, making him the clear-cut headliner of the available NBA players looking for a new shoe deal heading into next season….

For (Alex) Saratsis and the Octagon sports agency that represents him, Antetokounmpo’s upcoming shoe deal is not only expected to place him among the top 10 NBA players in the league from an earnings standpoint, but will also have the potential to frame and amplify his overall marketing and personal brand going forward. So far, both Adidas and Under Armour have expressed strong interest, while Nike ultimately holds a “match clause” on any offer sheet Antetokounmpo signs.

“Giannis is a sure thing and unique,” says one industry source. “He does freakish s— that gets folks talking.”

Kristaps Porzingis signed a deal with Adidas last summer for $5 million annually, with the potential for a couple million more in bonuses — and big men traditionally don’t sell shoes. Guards and wings — like Antetokounmpo — move product. The fact that Antetokounmpo is an international star helps open up European and other markets as well for whoever has his shoe contract.

Which will be Nike — I am not sure what offer Adidas could make that Nike would not match. Not that Adidas and Under Armour will not try. DePaula estimates that Antetokounmpo will make $7 million to $10 million annually on his next shoe deal, I have to imagine that comes with a signature shoe line coming where he would get a slice of that pie. All of that could be well worth it for Nike, or whoever has his rights.

I look forward to getting a pair of the Greek Freak 1s when they hit the market.