There were supposedly huge endorsements waiting for LeBron James ... if only he'd sign with the New York Knicks or New Jersey Nets in 2010. Stunningly, he seems to be doing OK for himself in Miami. As Dwight Howard lilts toward potential free agency in July -- we'll know more about his future on March 15, when the NBA trade deadline passes -- we're starting to hear those endorsement pitches crop back up.
But this time, there's some evidence to go with them.
Jeff Schwartz, the agent for Deron Williams, who was traded to the Nets a year ago, talked to CBS Sports' ace Ken Berger about the opportunities playing in New York (or thereabouts) has afforded the point guard.
"In the last eight or nine months, Deron has signed national deals with Audi, Red Bull and Metro PCS," said Williams' agent, Jeff Schwartz. "He's also done a number of regional deals with other companies. Being in a larger market, there's always more opportunities, and coupled with the fact that the Nets are moving to Brooklyn, there's going to be a lot of corporate interest in both the team and its star players."
Berger goes on to quote an anonymous agent outside of Howard's firm that says playing in New York would bolster the center's bank account even though he may have to take a smaller NBA salary to sign there. If Howard remains with the Magic this season and signs with Brooklyn as a free agent, he'd be subject to a shorter deal with smaller raises.
Of course, it's not even clear whether Williams will remain with the Nets as he'll be a free agent in July, too. Interesting times ahead!