Fans of Kevin Durant‘s signature sneaker series with Nike can breathe easy. ESPN’s Darren Rovell comes through again, first reporting that Nike has countered Under Armour‘s lucrative offer and the reigning NBA MVP is close to resigning with the Swoosh. As many of you know, Durant’s deal with Nike expired a little over a month ago, that lead to Under Armour making an offer to KD worth between $ 265 and $ 285 million for 10 years. After weeks of speculation on who will be the brand on the OKC superstar’s feet, Mr. Rovell reported this morning that Durant’s new deal with Nike could hit $ 300 million over 10 years based on potential royalties:

Nike has countered Under Armour’s offer of between $ 265 million and $ 285 million and believes it will keep Kevin Durant for the next 10 years, sources told ESPN. Nike, whose seven-year deal that guaranteed Durant $ 60 million is expiring, made an initial offer of about $ 20 million a year that was far from what Durant was looking for. Under Armour’s huge play for Durant had many believing that Nike would even let him go at that price.

But on Saturday, Nike officials told Durant and his team at Jay Z’s Roc Nation Sports that it would indeed step up enough to allow the world’s largest shoe and apparel company to keep him in its robust stable of basketball endorsers that includes LeBron James and Kobe Bryant.

Analyst Omar Saad, senior managing director of ISI’s luxury, apparel and footwear team, who covers all the major brands on Wall Street, said that, despite the negotiations coming down to the final hours, he always believed that Nike would win Durant’s services.

“For Nike, this was nothing to them,” Saad said. “They could easily build Durant’s business enough, assuming normal margins, where they could generate a cash flow of $ 60 million a year. And Nike is really good at monetizing its marketing assets, way better than anyone else.”

Saad said, for Nike, Durant satisfies a niche that makes him different from James, Bryant or the Jordan brand. Durant’s signature “KD” shoes generated $ 175 million at retail this past year, according to SportsOneSource, a market retail tracking firm. Not only was the business on the rise, but one retailing source told ESPN that Nike left plenty of money on the table with Durant’s shoe at $ 125 and relatively limited distribution to stores. Simply raising the price and opening up more channels could make the deal worth it, the source said.

It looks like Nike has offered enough to land Durant, though it could be argued as to whether its an exact match to the Under Armour deal. Under Armour’s offer included 10 percent stock, which one could argue makes that offer worth more than its present day value.

Rovell reports that sources close to Durant say the decision weighed on him, but going back to Nike grants KD with a sense of relief, because Durant can still make significant money without being associated with the risks of Under Armour’s fledgling shoe business.

It looks like Nike has manage to maintain it’s trio of superstar’s but is this good or bad for the balance of  the NBA?  Keep it locked to Nice Kicks for all updates and be sure to let your thoughts be heard via our comment section or your favorite social outlet.

Report: Kevin Durant Likely to Remain with Nike

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