September 27, 2016 | 12:35 pm EDT Update
The Orlando Magic likely will select a site for their Florida-based NBA Development League affiliate within the next 30 days, Magic CEO Alex Martins told the Orlando Sentinel. Kissimmee’s Silver Spurs Arena and The Lakeland Center are the two finalists the Magic are considering. “We’re still in final discussions with both, and both have been asked to address some specific issues that we need answers for and direction on,” Martins said. “I believe that within the next 30 days we’ll have a decision made.”
Simply making it to the league is no guarantee of a lucrative sneaker deal. NBA players are discovering it’s harder to score the big contracts that some of their predecessors landed. “The biggest misnomer is that everyone is getting a lot of money and everyone is getting paid,” Octagon agent Alex Saratsis tells Sole Collector. “Now, these shoe companies are very methodical in whom they go after. If they can add an extra million to KD’s compensation or LeBron’s comp over adding a bunch of guys that won’t push product, they will. Very few guys are getting paid good money to endorse shoes.”
Once it comes time to negotiate a new—or first—sneaker deal, agents know what to expect and can set proper expectations with players. Generally speaking, all three companies will come in with similar figures and guys will choose based on either loyalty or product preferences. But sometimes the money simply is higher with one company. Adidas, for example, has started throwing more cash around as they’ve exited the NBA uniform sponsorship in lieu of signing individual contracts. “If one shoe company is offering a contract wildly above market, no matter your loyalty you will go with that shoe company,” Saratsis says. “If you talk about the #1 pick in the draft, they go to the highest bidder.” When you move into the late first-round or second-round guys and the deals dip into $30,000 cash plus $30,000 worth of product, that’s when loyalty or preference falls back in line.