Miami Heat star Jimmy Butler just became the highest-profile sneaker deal free agent in the NBA.
According to a Thursday report, the four-time All-Star and the Jordan Brand have mutually agreed to part ways.
“Miami Heat small forward Jimmy Butler and the Jordan Brand have mutually agreed to part ways, bringing his multiyear footwear and apparel endorsement deal with the company to an end 10 months before its original Sept. 30, 2020, expiration date, industry sources have confirmed,” ESPN’s Nick DePaula wrote.
“The split makes the four-time All-Star and four-time all-defensive wing the highest-profile sneaker free agent across the league. Butler is expected to now begin discussions with multiple brands toward negotiating a new multiyear endorsement deal that would begin this season, potentially in advance of All-Star Weekend.”
DePaula went on to write about the potential of Heat legend Dwyane Wade’s sub-brand with Li-Ning signing Butler. While the partnership would certainly make sense, there is no word yet in terms of a deal actually being made.
“It remains to be seen if Wade would have interest in pursuing Butler to also support his sneaker line with the same franchise he helped lead to all three of its NBA championships,” he wrote. “Wade had helped to provide feedback to Butler about the Heat franchise as he navigated unrestricted free agency for the first time in his career earlier this summer.”
Butler has quickly become the face of a Heat franchise that is surging heading into the new year. He also seems to be a lock to return to the All-Star Game this season after missing the cut last year.
Given all that, it is likely that Butler and his team will look to strike a deal sooner rather than later.