Andrew Wiggins is about to get paid by the Minnesota Timberwolves. The former No. 1 overall pick is reportedly close to signing a max extension with his team, which means the team obviously thinks he’s the type of player who needs to be a cornerstone of their franchise for at least the next five years. There are some concerns about giving Wiggins this type of money, but it’s proof that when you think you have a star, you pay them.
The same cannot be said about adidas. Wiggins has a deal with the sneaker company, but as it turns out, adidas thinks making Wiggins a face of their franchise is a bit premature, as they have concerns about whether he deserves his own signature sneaker. With the prestige that comes from having your own kicks, a company like adidas is going to be really, really picky. Unfortunately for Wiggins, that is coming at his expense.
But this got us wondering: Which NBA players deserve to be the next in line to get their own sneakers from the Nikes and adidases of the world? We decided to look at the nine guys who could be next in line when it comes to being marketable in the sneaker industry — some of them as soon as possible, some of them a litter farther down the road.
9. Draymond Green
Only one member of Golden State’s core does not have a signature shoe. Steph Curry is with Under Armour, Kevin Durant has Nike, and Klay Thompson is the face of Anta. Let’s hook up the final Warriors star with his own shoe. Green has gone from a second round pick to a do-everything star/a crucial piece to the Warriors’ title runs. Nike’s already had Green debut one of their shoes in the past, why not take the next step and give him his own?
8. Karl-Anthony Towns
Sure, adidas doesn’t think that Wiggins is deserving of a signature shoe just yet, but what about Nike and the Timberwolves’ other young star? It may be a hair early for Towns to get his own sneaker, as he’s not exactly a household name yet, but if he continues to blow up and turns into the face of the Timberwolves’ franchise — especially if they start consistently making the postseason — he’s the kind of star who Nike would love to build up as he starts shining brighter and brighter.
7. Kristaps Porzingis
6. Giannis Antetokounmpo
Really, these two are a coin flip. Porzingis is in the bigger market, while Antetokounmpo is a better basketball player right now. Porzingis represents adidas, while Antetokounmpo is a Nike athlete, although he will hit sneaker free agency next year and adidas is apparently ready to move on him hard. They are the two biggest young international stars in the league right now, and giving them shoes would be one of the smartest things adidas and Nike could do as the game continues to expand across the globe.