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Lauri Markkanen signs multi-year shoe deal extension with Nike

The Finnisher will be a Nike athlete for a long time

Lauri Markkanen returned to action last night after missing eight straight games due to injury. In his return, he scored an efficient 23 points and led the Jazz to a big win at home. Even more significant than his win on the court, news came of another win in Markkanen’s life last night.

Nick DePaula broke the news that Markkanen has signed a multi-year extension with Nike. Details of the deal are still yet to come out, but Markkanen debuted his new player-exclusive Nike GT Hustle last night in throwback Utah Jazz purple.

The shoes feature personalized heels reading “Finnisher” and “LM23”. Markkanen posted on Instagram following the game, saying, “UNREAL... First PE (player exclusive) shoe! ... Growing up in Finland I never could have even dreamed about this... Just the beginning, a lot more coming!”

Lauri Markkanen has been a Nike athlete since he was drafted in 2017. He regularly wears Nike Hyperdunks, Kobes, KDs, and his favorite, Nike LeBrons.

Markkanen’s agent, Michael Lelchitski, with SIG Sports, told me and SLC Dunk that we can expect more Finnisher PEs and colorways. Per Lelchitski, “Lauri has been a Nike athlete since his rookie season. We very much appreciate the partnership and NIKE’s belief in Lauri throughout the years, so it was an easy decision for him to commit to NIKE for the long term. Lauri will have more Finnisher PEs and colorways on the way. Stay tuned!”

The length of the contract and the financials tied to it remain under wraps for now, but with Markkanen’s growth into stardom, one can assume that he got a big payday. On a potential signature shoe, Lelchetski and Markkanen are hopeful it will be possible in the future. “Lauri has tremendous support here in Utah, and we really feel that on a daily basis. He is also in the unique position that he has the entire nation of Finland behind him. These are two fervent basketball fanbases. Lauri is showing how unique he is as a basketball player. We hear the demand for Finnisher products all the time, and I think Nike does, too.”

Nike has six players with signature shoe deals, including LeBron James, Kevin Durant, Giannis Antetokounmpo, Paul George, Ja Morant, and Devin Booker. After dropping Kyrie Irving due to controversy, it is possible they could look to fill that gap in the future. As Markkanen continues to grow his game and his personal brand, that possibility could be more and more realistic.