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.
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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: