LSU’s Ben Simmons is inching closer towards signing a multi-year endorsement deal with Nike ahead of the NBA draft.
The deal is expected to be just behind LeBron James and Kevin Durant, the largest the sports apparel giants have signed with a rookie. Simmons, who was born and brought up in Australia, spent last season with LSU. He is the projected top pick of the upcoming NBA draft.
The gravity of the deal wasn’t unexpected though. Simmons hired LeBron James’ longtime friend Rich Raul as his representative this spring. Paul is also James’ agent after forming the clutch sports group in 2012. Not only Nike, but also Adidas had great interest in signing the rookie Australian.
“I see you, Ben Simmons. I see you talkin’ that mogul talk with adidas. That cloth talk!”
The above mentioned message, as reported by Yahoo Sports, clearly indicates Adidas’ desperate pitch to rope in Ben Simmons as their brand ambassador.
But Simmons was leaning more towards Nike, he played for a Nike sponsored high school, he wore LeBron James’ Nike shoes while playing for LSU. Paul’s close bond with a top marketing executive of Nike also played the role of a catalyst for the deal. Experts view Simmons as the next LeBron possessing all the play-making skills.
Simmons also posed for a photograph donning Lakers’ colors last month. He earlier revealed clearly that he wants to land in Los Angeles this summer. But the first overall pick is owned by the Philadelphia 76ers. Recently, a report in Sports Rageous revealed that the Sixers are eyeing Jamal Murray as their top pick in an intriguing move. If they stick to such plans, the Los Angeles Lakers can easily acquire Simmons with their second overall pick.
Nike reportedly wants Simmons to play for Lakers. The LSU product on the other hand, has recently said that he doesn’t have any problems featuring for Philadelphia in his rookie season in the league.
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