Kevin Durant is about to get paid.
No, we're not talking about the approximately $40 million in salary the Seat Pleasant native will earn with the NBA's Oklahoma City Thunder over the next two seasons. We're talking about as much as $285 million over the next 10 years from Under Armour, though maybe Nike. Either way, KD is about to rake in some serious coin.
ESPN's Darren Rovell reported details on Under Armour's offer Wednesday:
Kevin Durant's representation, Roc Nation Sports, informed Nike on Wednesday that he has a deal on the table with Under Armour worth between $265 million and $285 million over 10 years, sources told ESPN.com.
The deal includes Under Armour stock and other incentives, such a community center built in his mother's name, whose exact worth will not be known for some time.
Nike, which saw its signature business related to the Oklahoma City Thunder forward grow to roughly $175 million at retail this past season, will now have the right to match, which is a condition of Durant's current contract with the brand. Durant can still choose Nike if they don't match, but can't legally choose Under Armour if they do.
Nike's last offer, sources said, would have given Durant a base and a minimum royalty guarantee that would equal no less than $20 million a year.
Part of the intrigue isn't simply which brand of shoes or sports apparel Durant will serve as pitchman but what this means if anything about where the NBA's reigning Most Valuable Player will play in the future.
Under Armour is based in Baltimore. That's within shouting distance of the Verizon Center, home off the Washington Wizards. Ted Leonsis own the Wizards. Leonsis has participated in philanthropic ventures with UA CEO and prominent University of Maryland alum Kevin Plank.
Unless you've been under a rock, you know that the DMV spent most of the summer enthralled with the idea of the Wizards making a play for Durant when he becomes a free agent in the summer of 2016. There's been enough reporting and buzz to indicate Durant's interest in returning home, a move that Ohio native LeBron James made this summer by re-joining the Cleveland Cavaliers.
More from Rovell:
Should Nike pass and Under Armour win the battle for Durant, one has to wonder how much of a role Under Armour will play in Durant's decision where to play next. After all, in money alone, Durant would be more an employee of Under Armour than he is of the Thunder.
That last line about being more of employee for the shoe company than his NBA team is all kinds of fascinating and, based on the financial figures, seems all kinds of true.
Nike, you're on the clock. Doesn't take much intuition to figure out what Wizards fans hope you decide.