In an expose forecasting a slew of inevitably monstrous endorsement deal(s), Air Canada stumbled upon some quite remarkable news; presumedly while in a dorm enjoying yet another My Name is Name listening party courtesy of Pusha T (or so I hope). Check it:
"From what I'm hearing, (Adidas) is really high on him," an industry source said. "I've heard a range for sure, from like $140 to $180 million for like 10 years. That's a big deal for a kid coming out of school because most rookie deals are probably like four years."
"I'm hearing from people at Kansas that he's got a $180 million offer supposedly coming from Adidas," a source close to Wiggins' inner circle said. "But I also heard that Nike is going to match anything."
Firstly: Anywhere from $47 to $87 million more than Lebron's seven year, $93 million deal with Nike in 2003? $5 to $45 million less than Derek Rose's current 13 year, $185 million with Adidas? A $100 million tromping of Joe "Slow" Johnson's egregiously terrible contract in the blink of Cuba Gooding? Unprecedented? Unprecedented.
Secondly: From a pure marketing stand point, the move absolutely makes sense. Can’t hate the game. Had Lebron been 18 in 2013 he’d have seen upwards 200 million. $180 million to brand the on and off court evolution of the for sure next big thing (at worst perennial all-star who never manages to scratch his ceiling of basketball transcendency) is savvy to say the last. Just how it works. Not sure where Adidas’ financial security exactly stands with regards to the department of basketball. But if we’re talking Nike, $180 million isn’t but a scratch off ye ‘ol back if Wiggins plunges to the depths of Kwame Brown meets Jonathan Bender. The more pertinent question is what's the line of agents offering this kid gift baskets look like? Insane. Wouldn’t surprise me if David Falk has already sent this kid a hand written
Thirdly: One's, or at least my, inclination here is to dabble in devil's advocate. Not with regards to the validity of source, or the possibility of a full season's worth of Wiggins falling victim to the misleading facade of YouTube highlight reel and thus emerging a tier below his calculated talent (remember when Shabazz Muhammad was touted as close as they get to six stars?) or how Nike might prefer not to "anger" any current or to-be superstar signee by elevating the 18 year-old's status to demi-god before playing a single game. The question here is would I want that money that young? You know what $180 million gives me? A Richie-like-Lionel bankroll, no fiscal worries, and the what could be mental health horror of unrivaled expectations (take the aura of anticipation behind Lebron's first ever game against Sacramento and multiply that by 1,000...forever). You know what a modest $90 million from Nike to serve as the Golden Child to Thine King gives me? An ingenious marketing profile (can you image the bone-chilling profundity of a advisee-meets-advisor Wiggins/Lebron commercial?), a lifetime's supply of Givenchy gym clothes and a bit more leeway in the department of how much time I've got to find my truest superstar bearings.
Obviously, any sports industry professional who isn’t bullish on NBA-ready size, near unrivaled athletic ability (the kid's second jump is straight extraterrestrial) and doing just about everything well doesn’t get it. Wiggins (unless either Jabari Parker, Aaron Gordon or others have anything to say about it) is going to hallmark a draft class every bit comparable to 2003′s. He might not be Lebron per say, but without doubt is he bred from the pantheon of franchise cornerstone; Wiggins' all around capacity, versatility, impact on both ends is too profound to not be representative of such forecasting. Is he of the once in every generation type? That remains to be seen. Nonetheless, mentally preparing oneself for such a haul–a haul of monetary value even Lebron never sniffed–is a task worth carefully considering. $180 million thrown at anyone several months removed from high school is absurd. No one gets that money. No one.
Lastly: An "expected" sneaker deal worth millions to an amateur athlete ain't a violation of NCAA by-laws? Oh wait, I forgot. Mark Emmert's probably too hell bent on ensuring every transfer who loses their 28 year-old brother to colon cancer and father to stroke isn't eligible for a hardship waiver until everyone in their family dies. Sorry, I'm losing my gourd.
For now, let's just play some ball, work diligently , enjoy every waking minute of being in college, and pay heed to Associate Risk Analyst, Sandy Lyle. Always pragmatic to listen to Sandy.
Good Luck, Andrew. We at Campus Sports Net genuinely wish nothing but success and for you to raise the bar. Go Rock-Chalk-Jayhawk.