While the Philadelphia 76ers refuse to admit it officially, that they are going to use the No. 1 pick in this year’s draft to take LSU’s Ben Simmons is about as big a secret as Bruce Wayne being Batman.
Since he knows where he is going to land (and the size of the market), he sat down and hammered out a shoe deal with Nike, something first reported by Shams Charania of The Vertical at Yahoo Sports and later confirmed by Simmons himself.
Adidas reportedly had a larger original offer was around $10 million plus incentives, and that was eventually increased to where it could be worth $17 million if he hit those targets, reports Nick DePaula of The Vertical at Yahoo Sports. Nike’s offer ended up at around $12 million for five years.
Rookie shoe deals are sort of like other rookie contracts — it’s a lot of money to you and me, it’s a lot more money than these players have ever seen, but if they perform well the real money is in the next contract. Simmons has elite player potential, but there are questions about his motor and drive to get better. If he’s got that, Nike will have another star in the fold.