Older players who don’t fit with a team’s plans — or guys willing to take a discount to get out of their contract and move to another team — get bought out of their contracts all the time.
However, a guy getting bought out of a shoe deal. That’s rare.
All-Star point guard John Wall and Adidas are engaged in ongoing buyout negotiations that will soon bring his five-year footwear and apparel endorsement deal to an end less than two years into the agreement, industry sources told ESPN.
Since signing the deal in January 2018, Wall has been sidelined by a series of injuries, limiting his on-court visibility while wearing the brand’s products.
Wall signed with Adidas back in 2018 in a contract reported to be worth $25 million in total.
However, Wall has not been able to stay healthy and on the court, which means he can’t promote the shoes and brand. He played in just 41 games the season he signed with Adidas, but injuries kept him out of the 2018 All-Star game and he played just a handful of games after the ASG break that season. Last season Wall played in only 32 games, and after tearing his Achilles this past summer he is expected to miss all of this current season with Washington. Even when he returns to the court next season, there are questions about what kind of player he will be without his trademark burst of speed.
It makes sense for Adidas to want to save some money and move on (plus, after his run of injuries, it’s better for the brand not to be tied to him). It’s hard to imagine Wall giving the company much of a discount, but how much money he gets depends on the terms of the deal.
Either way, both sides are moving on. When he returns to the court next season, we’ll have to see what shoes Wall laces up.