Russell Westbrook has agreed to a 10-year extension that would keep him with Nike’s Jordan Brand through the 2025-26 season, according to ESPN’s Nick DePaula. The contract will be “the most lucrative total endorsement deal for a Jordan athlete to date,” DePaula writes.
Westbrook’s current contract with Jordan Brand, a five-year deal he signed in 2013, was ready to expire next fall. The new contract will retroactively extend back to his 2016-17 season, as well, when Westbrook was named league MVP.
The deal is a commitment to Westbrook beyond just basketball, too. While many players with shoe deals release only basketball shoes, Westbrook’s line has released lifestyle ones, as well.
He came out with the Westbrook 0.1’s and 0.2’s recently. The extension with Jordan would continue that strategy, including both on- and off-court signatures. Westbrook will also receive an “ambassador clause,” DePaula reports, which means Jordan would be committing to his appearances and the ability to add to his Jordan Brand legacy after retirement from basketball.
Jordan is already working on developing an on-court signature for Westbrook, who has said before that he likes being involved in the designing process. He recently returned from a tour of China to promote Jordan Brand and is now in New York City for fashion week.
As part of the deal, Jordan Brand will donate annually to Westbrook’s “Why Not? Foundation.
The highest-paying deal for an athlete in the history of Jordan Brand does not necessarily mean the highest-paying one for any player. Westbrook's former contract with Jordan paid him $5 million a year, according to Forbes, in line with what fellow Jordan Brand star and New York Knicks small forward Carmelo Anthony made. Other players earn more, though.
Westbrook's teammate with the Thunder, Paul George, makes $5.5 million with Nike, according to Forbes. Boston Celtics point guard Kyrie Irving makes $8 million with Nike. Chicago Bulls star Dwyane Wade makes the same with Li-Ning. The Adidas guys — Houston Rockets guard James Harden, Cleveland Cavaliers guard Derrick Rose and Portland Trail Blazers guard Damian Lillard — make $14 million, $11 million and $10 million, respectively.
Golden State Warriors star Stephen Curry gets $12 million a year from Under Armour.
The highest-paying shoe contracts for active players are Cleveland Cavaliers forward LeBron James' $32 million-a-year deal with Nike and NBA Finals MVP Kevin Durant's $25 million-a-year deal also with Nike.
This is not the only extension possibility that was part of Westbrook’s summer. The Thunder offered the reigning MVP a five-year, maximum deal July 1. If signed, the extension would kick in at the start of the 2018-19 season and could pay Westbrook more than $200 million. He has yet to sign it, but has until Oct. 16 to do so.
Westbrook averaged a league-leading 31.6 points to go with 10.7 rebounds and 10.4 assists this past season, becoming the second player in NBA history to average a triple-double.