The Zach LaVine sweepstakes is over. Late on Thursday night, word dropped that LaVine agreed to terms on an endorsement deal with adidas, a move that takes the 22-year-old Bulls guard off the sneaker market as he’s working his way back from an ACL tear that he suffered as a member of the Timberwolves last year.
The deal is potentially a lucrative one for LaVine, as Nick DePaula of ESPN reports that the former Slam Dunk Contest champion agreed to a four-year deal with adidas worth up to $35 million. Even further, LaVine told DePaula that adidas told him that he could potentially “legitimately become a face of the brand.”
“The direction the company is going in from a branding perspective has been impressive,” LaVine said. “In recent years, they’ve been innovative and creative with both their marketing strategies and products. The way they positioned themselves and explained to me that I’d lead their next wave of players was huge.”
DePaula reports that LaVine got to a deal with adidas after Nike waived the clause that existed in his contract which let them match any deal he signed this summer. It was reported earlier this year that Nike would try to compete with adidas, along with a group of Chinese sneaker companies, to retain LaVine’s services.
LaVine being such a hot commodity is something of a surprise, but he is one of the league’s more exciting young players who could develop into a legitimate No. 1 option in Chicago. Plus it bears repeating that he’s only 22, and if adidas’ gamble pays off, they agreed to a deal with someone who is a face of their brand for the next decade. Time will tell, obviously, but something like this is worth the risk…you know, as long as they can re-sign him when he’s back on the market at age 26.