The NBA may not welcome Ben Simmons with a bed of roses as it appeared. The decision to play basketball for Louisiana State University (LSU) could cost him up to $40 millions in the NBA.
According to sports media guru and apparel industry insider Nick DePaula, Simmons’ decision to feature for the LSU makes his position as No 1 draft pick of the NBA draft to be held on June 23 at Brooklyn uncertain. Brandon Ingram could be promoted ahead of the 19-year-old from Melbourne.
Simmons began his college career after an impressive high school Montverde Academy in Florida as certain No 1 pick in the NBA draft. Now, LSU’s dismal show in this season has dented Simmons image. The Tigers failed to qualify for the NCAA championship after a 19-14 run.
So, the highly anticipated fight to rope in Simmons as a brand ambassador between the Sports & apparel giants, Nike and Adidas, has also become uncertain. DePaula pointed out that Simmons struggles for the LSU has reduced the shine of his perception as the next superstar of basketball. Previously, industry insiders demanded that Simmons could ask for $50 million to $100 million.
Now, Simmons sneakers deal is estimated to be as little as $12 million, as revealed by DePaula to the Vertical Podcast with Woj. “I think it’s totally fair to frame it that way,” he said. “I think if you look maybe a year before he went to LSU, he was the guy. He was tabbed as the next guy for sure.
“People were all looking forward to the summer to sign him potentially. Between Adidas and Nike, they were both extremely hot on him. Maybe that meant a shoe deal in the range of $US50 million as a rookie, which is fairly unheard of. That’s only once in every five to seven years that happens for a guy like a (Kevin) Durant or LeBron style of player.”
DePaula has rated Simmons’ proposed deal in the same brackets with the likes of Andrew Wiggins. Meanwhile, The LSU freshman forward was named in the first team of National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC) Division I All-America team announced on Monday, according to the Advertiser.