At the end of the month, Giannis Antetokounmpo will be a free agent. At least, when it comes to a sneaker contract.
The Greek Freak has been signed to Nike for a bargain $25,000 per year for the last four years.
Antetokounmpo was signed to the meager deal because it was assumed that he would start his career in Spain, which he didn’t, but he was already locked into the brand-friendly contract when he was selected with the 15th pick of the 2013 Draft by Milwaukee.
Since entering the league, Antetokounmpo has had a meteoric rise, especially in the last two seasons. Last season he was named to his first All-Star team and was the 2017 recipient of the Most Improved Player Award.
Giannis Antetokounmpo leads the Milwaukee Bucks in points, rebounds, assists, blocks & steals per game. pic.twitter.com/OsqBWfLifT
— Sports Motivation (@Sports_HQ) March 1, 2017
It goes without saying that he is the hottest restricted sneaker free agent on the market as the 2017-18 season begins.
Nike will have 20 days to match any offer and it’s widely believed the offers will indeed come in.
— NBA TV (@NBATV) September 6, 2017
There’s a couple factors that make Nike the frontrunner, but some of them are their own cons, too.
First, with a roster that boasts LeBron James, Kyrie Irving, Kevin Durant, and Paul George (whose PG1’s are incredibly popular for a player’s first signature shoe) – there’s not a lot of room to push for an emerging star like the Greek Freak.