Ben Simmons, the most highly touted NBA Draft entrant since LeBron James, could ink a sneaker deal with Adidas and not with Nike, as was previously expected.
Last month, Adam Zagoria of SportsNet New York revealed that Simmons was on the brink of receiving a sneaker deal worth over $100 million. Remember, LeBron James signed a record $90 million deal with Nike upon being drafted into the NBA back in 2003. Therefore, Simmons could net a landmark deal which would essentially symbolize a changing of the guard.
According to Sonny Vaccaro, the infamous marketing exec involved in Michael Jordan’s historic sneaker deal with Nike, reckons that Simmons would be paid more than LeBron just to set a new precedent.
“The number ($100 million) doesn’t astonish me, the number’s been stagnant since LeBron. It would be the new precedent because LeBron was the last and (Simmons) has the makings in the mind of the NBA that he could be a great, great player. So that’s basically what they’re saying, he’s going to get a $100 million deal. I would understand that,” Vaccaro told Complex.com.
Related Story: No. 1 Pick Simmons Is The Next Greek Freak
Ben Simmons: Nike no longer the favorite?
Simmons was expected to sign with Nike after attending Montverde Academy and LSU, both Nike-sponsored schools. However, Simmons has recently hinted at a deal with Adidas during certain public appearances. On Saturday, the young Australian shared a picture on Instagram captioned “#Boost#” while wearing a pair of Adidas sneakers.
Also, Simmons was recently spotted wearing the popular Adidas Yeezy Boost 350. Is the young forward hinting at signing with Adidas? According to Vaccaro, both Adidas and Under Armour will pursue Simmons.
“Adidas and Under Armour may throw a number out there, maybe more to push it up. I would say maybe ($100 million) is not enough because times have changed. We’ve seen $20 million-a-year contracts now but they’ve been for established players,” Vaccaro said.
How much money will Ben Simmons net with his sneaker deal? Will it be in excess of $100 million? There’s a reason why LeBron James and his agency, Klutch Sports Group, have chosen to represent Simmons in the NBA. LeBron and agent Rich Paul fully expect Simmons to make them even richer.