Despite the NBA Draft still far ahead, some candidates are already making the headlines. Ben Simmons, who is being compared to LeBron James and is expected to be the number one draft pick this year in the 2016 NBA Draft, is already making some noise with his potential $100 million contract.
The comparison would likely elicit some come comments from any LBJ fan. However, such comparison springs from a possible shoe brand endorsement contract with Simmons. But with his court presence and aggressiveness in each game, Simmons may not likely be far from proving that he was cut from the same cloth with James.
Averaging almost 20 points and 12 rebounds per game this NCAA season, Simmons has captivated the imagination of both NBA scouts and marketing executives. This towering 6’10 forward is reportedly being sought by top shoe brands in the market. Nike, Adidas, and Under Armour are said to be wooing Simmons for his signature.
The news about Simmons possibly taking home a $100 million contract or more did not even shock Nike’s former marketing executive Sonny Vaccaro. Vaccaro, who helped the NBA superstar Michael Jordan land his first sneaker deal, told SportsNet New York that he was not surprised about the potential money involved in the contract.
“The number doesn’t astonish me, the number’s been stagnant since LeBron,” Vaccaro bluntly stated. “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.”
It can be remembered that before James graced the NBA court and showcased his basketball prowess, unconfirmed reports surfaced that he signed a $90 million contract with Nike. Though Simmons might be in a similar situation, unlike the time of LeBron James, a rising competition is also trying to fish Simmons’ approval.
Under Armour, who has been attempting to take a portion of the market from Nike and Adidas, has been reported to be aggressively chasing Simmons to add him in their line of endorsers like the reigning MVP Stephen Curry.
Taking all things into consideration, the future endorsement and critics’ expectation of Ben Simmons is a testament to this young player’s potential. However, amidst the attention and offers for him, Simmons should not be blinded by it and forget his ultimate goal, to improve and prove his worth in the professional league.
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