Zion Williamson, one of the top free agents on the shoe endorsement market, has reached a deal with Jordan Brand, he announced today on Instagram. Although terms of the multi-year arrangement were not released, Williamson received offers in excess of $10MM a year from some of Jordan’s competitors, relays Nick DePaula of ESPN.
“I feel incredibly blessed to be a part of the Jordan Brand family,” Williamson said. “Since I was a kid, I dreamed of making it to the league and having the type of impact on the game Michael Jordan had and continues to have today. He was one of those special athletes I looked up to, and I really can’t express how happy and excited I am for this journey.”
The company held an all-employees meeting this morning where the news was disclosed. Digital billboards featuring Williamson are scheduled to be unveiled soon.
There’s more NBA-related news to pass along:
- FIBA’s decision to move the World Cup to the summer before the Olympics may be responsible for so many stars deciding to skip the event, tweets Michael Lee of The Athletic. He notes that it’s difficult to find elite players who are willing to commit two straight offseasons to international competition. Many of the players who withdrew are sincere about their desire to prepare for the upcoming season, observes Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports (Twitter link). With no obvious favorite for the 2019/20 title, many stars are seeking any advantage they can get. Damian Lillard and DeMar DeRozan are the latest players to pull their names out of consideration for Team USA.
- A summer filled with blockbuster trades and unprecedented free agent movement presents unique challenges for schedule makers, writes Jacob Feldman of Sports Illustrated. The scheduling process usually starts in mid-June, but the league came to an agreement with ESPN and TNT to push it back because of the expected flurry of transactions. The schedule release is still anticipated for its normal time of early to mid-August.
- Kings second-round pick Vanja Marinkovic will leave his Partizan Belgrade team to sign with Valencia in Spain, tweets international basketball consultant Vedran Modric. It will be a two-year deal with an option for a third season, according to Emiliano Carchia of Sportando (Twitter link).
- Center Matt Costello, who played briefly for the Spurs during the 2017/18 season, has reached a deal with Spanish club Herbalife Gran Canaria, according to Nicola Lupo of Sportando.