LSU power forward Ben Simmons is probably going to be the first pick in the 2016 NBA Draft. The freshman is averaging 20 points and 12 rebounds per game for a Tigers team, that at 18-12, is a tournament bubble team at best.
Simmons is the next big thing in the NBA and sneaker companies are ready to greatly compensate him.
According to ZagsBlog, Simmons could be looking at a $100 million sneaker deal from Nike, Under Armour and adidas whenever he chooses to end his NCAA eligibility.
“The number doesn’t astonish me, the number’s been stagnant since LeBron (James),” grassroots sneaker guru Sonny Vaccaro told SNY.tv on Thursday. “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.”
When LeBron James got his sneaker deal from Nike in 2003, it was worth $90 million. So in a way, Simmons getting $100 million is crazy, but only because it seems like it should be a lot more considering it’s 13 years later.
“adidas and Under Armour may throw a number out there, maybe more to push it up,” Vaccaro said. “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.”
It’s sort of comforting that despite all that’s changed in the world since 2003, sneakers are still this big of a deal. Maybe in 2029, the NBA’s next great prospect will get $200 million bitcoins to endorse Tinder or Snapchat or whatever replaces Tinder and Snapchat by then.