At 19 years old, Ben Simmons could be one of the richest members of the NBA before even stepping on a court.
The LSU forward, who is projected to go first overall in the NBA Draft this year, will likely have athletic companies fighting over him. According to SNY.tv, Simmons' high draft stock is expected to shoot up the worth of the shoe contract, which experts are saying could surmount $100 million.
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Nike remains the favorite to land Simmons, but competition from adidas and Under Armour will likely push the contract price through the roof.
"adidas and Under Armour may throw a number out there, maybe more to push it up," former Nike executive and sneaker guru Sonny Vaccaro told SNY. "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."
Simmons link to Nike is through his former coach Kevin Boyle, who works for Nike's-sponsored summer camps.
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LeBron James was the last player who blew up the price of shoe endorsement deals. When he was drafted in 2003, he signed a $90 million deal with Nike.
"The number doesn't astonish me, the number's been stagnant since LeBron," said Vaccaro, whose credentials include facilitating Michael Jordan's first shoe deal. "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."