Jimmy Butler’s new Miami Heat uniform this season will now include some new kicks.
Butler has ended his contract with Jordan Brand after the two sides mutually agreed to end their contract 10 months prior to its Sept. 30 expiration date, ESPN’s Nick DePaula reports.
Why the split?
What prompted the split or why it came early are not clear, but Butler will be in demand as an unexpected All-Star level sneaker free agent. The news came as a surprise to competitors of the iconic sneaker brand, which are expected to immediately begin courting Butler, according to the report.
Where will Butler land?
Prior to signing with Jordan Brand, Butler had an endorsement deal with Adidas as a rookie with the Chicago Bulls in 2011. He switched to Jordan Brand prior to his first of four All-Star appearances three seasons later.
James Harden famously left Jordan Brand’s parent company Nike in 2015 to sign a $200 million deal with Adidas.
In addition to Adidas, Puma and New Balance are expected to be in the market for Butler’s endorsement as they continue to push their way into the basketball shoe market.
New Balance has raised its profile by making Kawhi Leonard its flagship endorser, while Puma got back into the NBA game in 2018 by signing DeMarcus Cousins, Deandre Ayton and Marvin Bagley III.
DePaula reports that Dwyane Wade’s sub-brand with Chinese apparel maker Li-Ning could also be in play considering the Heat connection. Golden State Warriors guard D’Angelo Russell wear’s Wade’s signature Li-Ning shoe after signing a deal in November.
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