Tuesday there was a report that Adidas has a $180 million proposal sitting there, waiting for Kansas freshman Andrew Wiggins when he turns pro next summer (and he will turn pro).
That report had multiple sources saying roughly the same thing — that Adidas was targeting Wiggins and was willing to back up the Brinks truck — but a spokesperson from Adidas reached out to PBT to say that there is “fraudulent letter going around claiming to be from adidas offering Wiggins a contract.” They think the $180 figure came from that letter and said there is no such offer.
They added that aside that they cannot and would not further comment on college underclassmen.
The original report did not reference any letter or say there was an offer. The reporter is respected, connected and said told PBT he had two independent sources who made no mention of a memo.
You have to love conflicting spin — and know that Adidas has a reason to spin here (it would be big trouble for them if they officially reached out to an underclassman). You also should know that shoe companies reach out to young players but it’s never official — there could never be an offer letter until Wiggins declares for the draft.
Here are my thoughts on the reality of the situation:
Does Adidas have Wiggins on their radar? Damn straight, everyone does.
Is he their top target? If not they are doing it wrong. Attacking wings who can score like Wiggins sell a lot of shoes.
Is the $180 million figure accurate? It seems high, but the truth is any talk of a figure is premature before he plays his college season. If he averages 30 a game the number is different than if he averages 10. Maybe the figure gets there if Nike and Adidas get in a bidding war, but we are not really having that discussion yet. At least not formally.
Would a shoe company CEO sign his name to a letter promising hundreds of millions of dollars to a college underclassman? Come on, you don’t get to be CEO of a major corporation by being stupid.
If Wiggins lives up to his promise this season in Lawrence, shoe companies are going to be falling over themselves to get to him. And you can bet groundwork for those pitches is being laid right now through back channels. But that is very different from an offer letter. Which is to say, both the original report and Adidas can be right here.