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Bucks star Giannis Antetokounmpo gets shoe deal; is John Wall next?

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Bucks star Giannis Antetokounmpo gets shoe deal; is John Wall next?

One of the biggest sneaker free agents is now officially off the market. 

Milwaukee Bucks star Giannis Antetkounmpo has re-signed with Nike and the expectation is he will have a signature shoe sometime within the next two years, likely late 2019. The news was first reported by ESPN.

Antetkounmpo will join LeBron James, Kevin Durant, Paul George and Kyrie Irving among NBA players with signature shoes made under the Nike brand. The new concept will be called the 'Giannis 1.'

Terms of the deal have not been released, but it is being described as a long-term partnership. Antetkounmpo, just 22 years old, has emerged as one of the best players in the NBA, a guy who could compete for MVP awards and soon.

Big men traditionally do not do as well in the signature shoe market, but Antetkounmpo is an anomaly in his style as a player, much like Durant. Despite being 6-foot-11, he plays like a guard. Nike hopes that will help him appeal to the masses.

[RELATED: WHERE TO GO BEFORE AND AFTER WIZARDS GAMES]

Speaking of guards, Wizards star John Wall remains one of the biggest names withouth a signature deal. Now that Antetkounmpo is off the market, perhaps the focus of shoe companies will shift to Wall and other players out there.

Wall spoke to NBC Sports Washington's Chris Miller about his quest for a shoe deal over the summer. He said then that he bet on himself and was hoping for a deal to come about. Wall is still waiting, however.

What could help Wall's case is the fact the Wizards have 18 national TV games this season, giving Wall an opportunity to raise his profile. Never before in Wall's career has there been this much of a spotlight on the Wizards. As long as he continues to play well, shoe companies will notice.

For more on shoes, check out our sneaker special of the Wizards Tipoff podcast:

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Wizards plan to introduce Dwight Howard Monday

Wizards plan to introduce Dwight Howard Monday

Wizards team president Ernie Grunfeld has stayed relatively busy this summer crafting his new-look lineup for the 2018-19 season. 

One of the team's key additions, Dwight Howard, is set to be introduced as a member of the Wizards on Monday. 

NBC Sports Washington will air the introductory press conference live at 1 p.m. while also streaming it online.  

Ernie Grunfeld and head coach Scott Brooks are both expected to be in attendance. 

The 32-year-old big man is coming off a 2017-18 season with the Charlotte Hornets in which he averaged 16.6 points and 12.5 rebounds per game. 

Since leaving the Orlando Magic after eight seasons in 2011, Howard has played for four different teams in the last six years. 

Howard is an eight-time all-star and a three-time defensive player of the year. 

 

RELATED LINKS: 

John Wall's take on Dwight Howard 

Wizards make Dwight Howard free agent signing official 

By the numbers: Is new Wizards center Dwight Howard still in his NBA prime? 

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Carmelo Anthony traded to Hawks in three-team deal, but not likely to stay

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Carmelo Anthony traded to Hawks in three-team deal, but not likely to stay

The stage has been set for Carmelo Anthony to hit free agency, as the 10-time All-Star was traded to the Atlanta Hawks on Thursday in a three-team deal, one that will lead to a subsequent buyout of his contract. ESPN first reported the news and noted that the Rockets are the favorites to sign him.

The full deal sends Dennis Schroder from the Hawks to the Thunder in exchange for Anthony and a protected first-round pick, and sends Mike Muscala from Atlanta to Philly. Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot will go to the Thunder from Philly and Justin Anderson will go from the Sixers to the Hawks.

That's a complicated deal, but it ultimately frees Anthony up to choose a new team. He was set to make $27.9 million from the Thunder next season, but the Hawks are footing the bill to let him walk.

Anthony's skills have declined now that he's 34 years old. Last season, he averaged 16.2 points on 40.4 percent shooting, way down from the 22.4 points he averaged the season before with the Knicks.

Still, Anthony could help a team looking for a scoring punch and the Rockets would like some more help in their quest to take down the Warriors. If he signs there, he will join friend Chris Paul and the 2017-18 MVP, James Harden. 

Houston has been the logical landing spot for Anthony ever since news broke that the Thunder were looking for a way out of his contract. If he doesn't go there, perhaps the Lakers would make sense. LeBron James is going to need a lot more help than the roster he currently has around him to make some noise in the crowded Western Conference.

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