As the game of basketball has progressed, so has everything surrounding it. With the NBA now allowing teams to put sponsor ads on their new jerseys, Commissioner Adam Silver also announced the league is altering the schedule to help decrease the number of players who need rest to keep them healthier late in the season. Along with these changes, even shoe deals have transformed dramatically over the last couple decades.

Before Michael Jordan, Converse was the basketball sneaker go-to, but the young man from North Carolina changed all of that. Now he has a billion dollar brand under the Nike umbrella that stretches beyond basketball.

Things have definitely come a long way since Magic Johnson and Larry Bird were drafted in the ’70s. Now, basketball apparel generates enormous profits for the NBA, sports apparel companies, and players.

With 18 and 19-year-olds signing massive contracts before they’ve even been drafted, one of the top draft picks this year even bucked the system and is riding with his own family brand.

It was announced earlier this week that Mavericks’ rookie, Dennis Smith, Jr., has finally signed a shoe deal after waiting it out over the summer months.

Two months ago, Smith was offered deals worth around $1 million per year, but he and his camp decided he could do better. After a standout Summer League performance, Smith was right.

It’s one of those deals that works out for both parties; Smith will get paid reportedly double what he was offered in June and Under Armour will get to build their resume.

It may not seem like a big deal, but Smith is already being talked about as a Rookie of the Year finalist and with Nike and Adidas billion dollar marketing budgets, UA needs every little push they can get.

Head over to Page 2 to see what shoe companies all of the 2017 rookies signed with…

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