NBA Players with Shoe Deals (The Biggest Contracts in 2023)


Shoe contracts have been an indispensable part of the NBA ever since Michael Jordan signed his first deal with Nike in 1984.

Today, NBA players with shoe deals earn millions of dollars every year from endorsements on top of the massive salaries they get from the League. 

Let’s take a look at some of the richest sneaker deals. 

Biggest Shoe Deals in NBA History

For the purposes of this list, we will stick only to active NBA players with massive shoe deals. However, no ranking of the biggest shoe deals in basketball history would be complete without these honourable mentions:

  • Kobe Bryant and Nike: about $250 million
  • Vince Carter and Puma: $50 million
  • Allen Iverson and Reebok: $800,000 a year for life 
  • Dwayne Wade and Li-Ning: $12 million

Last but definitely not least, Michael Jordan’s colossal Nike deal, which is still the biggest contract in basketball history. It is estimated that MJ made more than $1.3 billion since he signed the contract in 1984, while the value of the Nike Air Jordan brand has skyrocketed to $3 billion. 

What’s more, this super successful entrepreneur, iconic player and recent NASCAR team owner helped turn Nike into one of the biggest brands in the NBA—the combined share of Nike and the Jordan brand takes up 86% of the performance market and 96% of the lifestyle basketball category.

Ten Richest NBA Shoe Deals in 2021

Now that we’re all caught up on the biggest deals, we will take a closer look at some of the richest sneaker contracts right now. 

Klay Thompson

  • Brand: Anta 
  • Signed: 2017
  • Deal: 10 years
  • Worth: $80 million
  • Number of signature shoes: 6

Warriors guard Klay Thompson chose to stand out from the crowd when he left Nike and signed with Chinese brand Anta in 2014.

However, the Anta-Klay Thompson deal certainly paid off. It not only gave this five-time NBA All-Star access to the untapped Chinese market, but it also pays him around $8 million a year. 

What’s more, in 2017, Thompson re-negotiated the contract and got a serious increase on the original $3 million a year. The new deal is reportedly worth $80 million (plus incentives) and will keep Stephen Curry’s Splash Brother at Anta until 2026. 

Giannis Antetokounmpo

  • Brand: Nike
  • Signed: 2017
  • Deal: NA
  • Worth: $10 million a year
  • Signature shoes: 3

When Antetokounmpo was drafted in 2013, Nike was the only company that approached him with a contract. 

Their first Giannis Antetokounmpo-Nike deal paid out only $20,000 a year, but as the Greek Freak upped his game, the numbers increased. In 2017 he re-signed with the brand, even though he was pursued by other brands, including Adidas and Li-Ning. 

The two-time NBA MVP’s first signature shoe, the Nike Air Zoom Freak 1, was released in 2019. According to the company, it was the biggest initial signature launch of all Nike NBA collaborations.

Besides being the best player in the NBA, Giannis also is well-known for having one of the biggest hand sizes in the NBA.

Related: Who are the hottest NBA players?

Kyrie Irving

  • Brand: Nike
  • Signed: 2019
  • Deal: 7 years
  • Worth: $11 million a year
  • Signature shoes: 8

In 2014, the Brooklyn Nets point guard extended his four-year Nike deal to another seven years, getting his first signature shoe released the same year. 

Kyrie Irving’s signature shoes are one of Nike’s top-selling NBA player shoes. On top of that, they are incredibly popular among other basketball players, second only to Kobe Bryant’s signature kicks during the 2019/20 season

Related: Did Kyrie Irving wear a face mask?

Russell Westbrook

  • Brand: Jordan Brand
  • Signed: 2017
  • Deal: 10 years
  • Worth: $11 million a year
  • Signature shoes: 4

Russell Westbrook plays for one of the most valuable sports teams, the LA Lakers, and has been the face of the Jordan Brand since he signed his first five-year contract with them in 2013.

In 2017, Nike extended his agreement for another decade, paying him $15 million in the first year alone. This sum made this nine-time All-Star player the brand’s best-paid endorser at the time. 

Although the deal’s full value was never disclosed, it is estimated that this latest contract brought Westbrook’s total career earnings to $335 million.

You might also like: How long is halftime in the NBA?

Derrick Rose

  • Brand: Adidas
  • Signed: 2012
  • Deal: 13 years 
  • Worth: $185 million
  • Signature shoes: 11

Derrick Rose makes millions in endorsement deals, in particular, his 2012 Adidas contract that pays him about $11 million a year.

The deal also included a private jet, a $250,000 salary for his brother and a $150k donation to an organisation of Rose’s choice. 

James Harden

  • Brand: Adidas
  • Signed: 2015
  • Deal: 13 years
  • Worth: $200 million
  • Signature shoes: 5

Like Klay Thompson, James Harden used to be a Nike athlete for a long time before switching shoe companies. In 2015, he ended his partnership with the Swoosh brand (as Nike refused to go into a bidding war) and signed a massive 13-year contract worth $200 million with Adidas.  

Today Harden is the face of the three stripes brand, earning around $14 million a year from shoe endorsements alone. His sneakers, five versions of which have been released, are becoming increasingly popular among NBA players with each new version. 

Zion Williamson

  • Brand: Jordan Brand
  • Signed: 2019
  • Deal: 5 years 
  • Worth: $75 million
  • Signature shoes: one 

New Orleans Pelicans power forward Zion Williamson’s five-year Jordan deal pays out about $15 million a year, making it the richest annual deal ever signed in the NBA.

One of the best young NBA players, Williamson is the first Gen-Z athlete signed by the Jordan Brand and Nike hopes that he will be able to carry on MJ’s legacy to the next generation. 

As part of this massive deal, Nike released the Jordan Zion 1, Williamson’s first signature shoe, in April 2021.

Kevin Durant 

  • Brand: Nike 
  • Signed: 2014
  • Deal: 10 years 
  • Worth: $300 million 
  • Signature shoes: 14

KD has one of the longest-lasting signature shoe deals with Nike, signing his first contract in 2007.

Back then, the $60 million Kevin Durant-Nike shoe deal was the second-richest rookie sneaker contract with the Swoosh brand, following LeBron James’ deal with the company. Like James, the Brooklyn Nets small forward was offered $70 million by Adidas, a deal that he ultimately turned down. 

Seven years later, Durant profited from another bidding war, this time between Nike and Under Armour. The Just Do It brand prevailed, offering almost $300 million (and a $50 million retirement package) and getting Durant for another ten years. 

You might also like: What does bonus mean in the NBA?

Stephen Curry

  • Brand: Under Armour 
  • Signed: 2015
  • Deal: 9 years 
  • Worth: $20 million per year (estimated) 
  • Signature shoes: 8

Like many others of the best NBA players, Stephen Curry also started out with a Nike endorsement, wearing the brand’s shoes for the first four years of his pro career. In 2013, however, he joined Under Armour, a relatively new company on the basketball scene. 

Surprisingly, Nike failed to re-sign Steph Curry in 2013 because they couldn’t match Under Armour’s offer of $4 million. Today, Forbes calculates that the Warriors point guard makes $42 million in endorsement deals, the biggest share of which comes from his contract with Under Armour.  

LeBron James

  • Brand: Nike
  • Signed: 2016
  • Deal: Lifetime 
  • Worth: $32 million per year 
  • Signature shoes: 18

Signed in 2003 when King James was just 18 years old and extended in 2016 to a lifetime contract with the Swoosh brand, the legendary LeBron James-Nike deal is the biggest rookie shoe contract and one of the highest-paying sponsorship deals in sports

While the first LeBron James-Nike contract paid the LA Lakers superstar $90 million, the lifetime extension is said to be worth more than $1 billion.

As a rookie, James was actually offered a $115 million deal from Reebok, which he rejected in favour of Nike.

This is not the only area where James follows Jordan—like him; he also owns shares in sports teams, including one of the most successful clubs in Europe, Liverpool, and the Boston Red Sox, which is participating in one of the most profitable sports leagues, the MLB.

Wrapping it Up

It is estimated that there are only 18 NBA players with shoe deals, which is not surprising given how much sportswear companies are dishing out on annual contracts.

While none can match MJ’s iconic Nike deal, basketball stars still earn a nice chunk of change from endorsements.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *