When Kevin Durant withdrew from Team USA earlier this month, many speculated the reason was the gruesome leg injury suffered by Paul George during a national team intrasquad exhibition in Las Vegas. Others thought perhaps the Oklahoma City Thunder convinced their star to take a break. And Durant, for his part, said he just needed a rest.
But some reports stated that the real reason was a potential deal in the works between Durant and athletic outfitter Under Armour. While the true reason behind Durant’s decision may never be known, it looks like UA may have indeed offered KD a good reason to leave the team — or more accurately, nearly 300 million reasons.
ESPN’s Darren Rovell reported on Wednesday that Durant has an endorsement offer on the table from Under Armour worth between $265 and $285 million over 10 years. According to the report, the true value of the deal, should Durant sign, would not be known for some time as it includes incentives such as stock options and a community center built in Durant’s mother’s name.
Rovell reported that Durant and his representation, Jay Z’s Roc Nation Sports, have informed Nike of the deal. According to the report, Durant is currently under contract with Nike and the Swoosh has the right to match the offer.
According to Rovell, Nike’s latest offer to Durant would give the reigning NBA MVP “a base and a minimum royalty guarantee that would equal no less than $20 million a year.” Additionally, Rovell reported, if Nike does not match the offer, Durant is free to sign with either party; however, if Nike does match it, Durant cannot legally choose Under Armour.
Durant has been with Nike since signing his first seven-year, $60 million deal with the company before ever playing a game in the NBA. Nike is a major sponsor of the US men’s basketball team, hence the belief that the Under Armour negotiations played a role in Durant leaving the team.
Durant, 25, has two more seasons remaining on his contract with the Thunder, and a deal with Baltimore-based UA will likely intensify speculation the native of the D.C./Maryland area may desire to play for the Washington Wizards when he’s a free agent.