Pacers rookie T.J. Leaf has shoe deal with Adidas

Pacers first-round pick T.J. Leaf has a shoe deal with Adidas, he told

This was the route you’d expect the 20-year-old to go considering he’s been an Adidas lifer. Leaf wore Adidas at UCLA, in high school at Foothills Chrisitian in California, and with his AAU team, the Compton Magic.

Fellow rookie Ike Anigbogu, who also played at UCLA and for the Compton Magic, told that he does not have an official deal yet but will continue to wear Adidas.

That’s all he knows, too.

A typical deal for someone like Leaf, playing in Indiana, may be for $75,000 — plus a pot of money (like a gift card that expires each year) to spend on shoes and apparel for the season.

Nick DePaula, now of ESPN, wrote a thorough piece last year over on The Vertical on how shoe deals work.

Typically, a rookie will sign a shoe deal with a brand that’ll last three or four years. When that rookie shoe deal is up, the brands will most often hold a “match clause.” Much like the NBA’s restricted free agency, brands can match any new offer sheet a player agrees to.

While NBA contracts normally run through July 1, the shoe deal end date is often Sept. 30, just before the start of preseason. As a protective measure, brands will often wait until after the draft to sign a player, allowing them to see if a player is landing in a small or large market and get a glimpse at how a player performs in the NBA’s summer league. They’ll then make an offer accordingly.

The majority of the Pacers’ roster wears Nike. Glenn Robinson III has a deal with Li-Ning, and Lance Stephenson has been wearing Q4s.

[Photo: Frank McGrath/PS&E]

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