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Report: Adidas ready to throw $180 million at Andrew Wiggins

Oct 15, 2013, 7:06 PM EDT

Andrew Wiggins AP

You never know for sure if a player is going to turn out to be a superstar — Greg Oden was taken in front of Kevin Durant, Michael Jordan went No. 3, Kobe Bryant No. 13.

But sometimes you do know (LeBron James, Derrick Rose) and most scouts and teams believe Kansas freshman Andrew Wiggins is going to be that kind of impact player in the NBA. He is the reason Philadelphia, Phoenix and other teams are already “riggin’ for Wiggins” and taking will be an issue the second half of the NBA season. (To be fair the draft class is deep with Julius Randle, Aaron Gordon and number of other potential franchise or at least future All-Star players.)

Players like Wiggins also sell shoes. A lot of shoes. And Adidas really wants Wiggins, reports Jared Zwerling of Bleacher Report.

Three sources told Bleacher Report that Adidas has pegged Wiggins as their prime target—and they would be willing to open up the bank for him. Of course, no meetings or official offers can be made until Wiggins declares for the 2014 draft after his season at Kansas.

“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.”

No pressure. “Hey kid, we’ve got $180 million waiting for you next spring. Have a good season and don’t blow out your knee.”

Does this all seem a little over the top for an unproven product? Yes, but it’s also a smart business move. If in 10 years we’re talking about Wiggins the way we talked about LeBron or Kobe nine years into their NBA career, that $180 million is a good deal for Adidas (or Nike, or whomever). He will sell shoes. There’s a risk involved, but the fact is there are a handful of basketball players on the planet who can really sell their model shoes and if you can get one of those guys, you grab them.

It’s going to be good to be Wiggins, but man this is a lot of hype to live up to.

  1. zoomy123 - Oct 15, 2013 at 7:20 PM

    The comparisons to LBJ aren’t apt here. Not at all. When LBJ came out of highschool he was already a man-child who could dominate an NBA game. If anything, Wiggins is more like Kobe, who had to work the first couple of years to develop his skills at the NBA level. But, honestly, I haven’t seen anything from Wiggins that even remotely impresses me.

    • dondada10 - Oct 15, 2013 at 10:36 PM

      I saw him play the summer before his senior year at Milkhouse in Orlando. At the very least he’s going to be an impactful player in the NBA. I know “who the hell am I” but I worked with some guys that made the pros (Lance Stephenson, Hakim Warrick, Demetris Nichols, Darryl Watkins).

      • zoomy123 - Oct 15, 2013 at 11:59 PM

        I never said he wouldn’t be an impactful player or even an All-NBA player. I just said what I’ve seen from him doesn’t impress me. Dominating high school kids with superior athleticism isn’t impressive.

      • antistratfordian - Oct 16, 2013 at 3:26 AM

        “I know ‘who the hell am I’ but I worked with some guys that made the pros..”

        That doesn’t really cut it. Hall of famers can rarely get these things right, so you having “worked with some guys” isn’t going to enhance prescience. How persuasive do you think “Hey, I’m Michael Jordan, I know what I’m talking about” is these days?

      • thirdistheworrd - Oct 16, 2013 at 1:10 PM

        it’s fair to say that simply being a dominant high school athlete isn’t enough to justify being a superstar, but Wiggins isn’t a dominant high school athlete, he’s the dominant high school athlete. If you’re the best player in high school basketball two or three years running, you’re going to be a superstar. At the same time you’re right that Wiggins isn’t the same kind of “man child” Bron was, his frame simply doesn’t support that kind of weight. That said, that factor does lend more credence to his overall athleticism.

        I’m sure his career is going to take off fast, however, and I feel like his career trajectory will be something along the lines of more physical Paul Pierce. And I’m aware that’s setting the bar really high, but I’m looking more for a player comparison than a really optimistic career prediction.

        That said, if Wiggins goes to Celtics, and that seems like a very possible outcome of our fair and unbiased lottery system, I may stop watching the NBA forever. LA, Boston, and Chicago will always be great sports towns, but if the NBA would give other cities a shot to become “classic” basketball towns, its market share would increase drastically.

    • asimonetti88 - Oct 16, 2013 at 12:14 AM

      Sources tell Bleacher Report? Since when is Bleacher Report a credible source for anything?

      • Kurt Helin - Oct 16, 2013 at 12:33 AM

        Bleacher Report hired Jared Zwerling (who wrote this report) away from ESPNNewYork this year. They also hired Howard Beck away from the New York Times, Kevin Ding (best Laker beat writer) away from the Orange County Register, and Ric Bucher (formerly of ESPN). They spent money on quality this year and you’ll start to see links to them here because of it.

      • antistratfordian - Oct 16, 2013 at 3:06 AM

        Nothing screams “credibility” quite like the hiring of Ric Bucher.

    • anhdazman - Oct 16, 2013 at 6:43 AM

      Guess you didn’t see when he matched up against all of the high school all stars and dominated them too.

      • zoomy123 - Oct 16, 2013 at 2:00 PM

        You mean the McDonal’s All-American Classic? I saw that game…and he wasn’t impressive. That game is basically an All-Star game anyway. He had a quiet 27(?) points in a game in which his team was comfortably blown out.

  2. antistratfordian - Oct 15, 2013 at 7:20 PM

    Why not? They haven’t had much luck moving Rose’s shoe. Might as well throw a lot of money at Wiggins and see what happens. If it doesn’t work out you just fire someone and start again.

    • chicitybulls - Oct 16, 2013 at 10:36 AM

      You must really hate D.Rose. Every comment I’ve seen you make of him has been something negative. Oh well. I’ll enjoy watching him entertain and dominate and you can do what you do. Free country and all.

      • antistratfordian - Oct 16, 2013 at 7:44 PM

        Everyone thinks I hate everyone else. I hate D.Rose now? I hate Kobe. I hate Paul George. I hate Melo. I hate Kevin Love. I hate Roy Hibbert.

        I don’t hate these guys. I’m just calling it like I see it. I’m just telling it like it is. I’m a straight shooter, shooting straight from the hip. I don’t mince words. I don’t beat around the bush.

        By point of fact, sales figures for Rose’s shoe are lower than Adidas would like. He doesn’t even sell as many shoes as Carmelo Anthony. That doesn’t mean I hate Derrick Rose.

      • adamsjohn714 - Oct 16, 2013 at 11:58 PM

        Here’s a quote from Anti:

        “I hate Kobe. I hate Paul George. I hate Melo. I hate Kevin Love. I hate Roy Hibbert.”

        Clearly you hate these guys. You just said it.

  3. elwaysagenius - Oct 15, 2013 at 7:47 PM

    But yeah, he should have to go to college for a year despite having 9 figures waiting for you

  4. thetruth702 - Oct 15, 2013 at 7:49 PM

    if I’m wiggans I’m sitting the year and signing that the day I declare

  5. themagicfanguy - Oct 15, 2013 at 8:11 PM

    @zoomy Then you haven’t been watching.

  6. tigers182 - Oct 15, 2013 at 8:16 PM

    Not to sound like a hippy, but they pay the people who make these shoes $.20/hour and pay 17 year olds $180 million to wear the shoes. Ok

    • adamsjohn714 - Oct 15, 2013 at 10:44 PM

      They must have ridiculous overhead costs.

      • mydoghasfleez - Oct 17, 2013 at 12:26 PM


    • thirdistheworrd - Oct 16, 2013 at 1:24 PM

      OK? Yeah, that’s called the free market. Not to sound like a lecturing @hole, but by generating more profit, they’re reinvesting more money into the worldwide market as a whole.Over time, reinvestment in the market and your own company leads to technological and logistical improvements and greater market gains, Eventually free market profits will end up financing better educational systems and job opportunities in Malaysia, so these kids don’t have to work for .20/hr to feed their families anymore. That’s the power of money and people, if we sit back and relax it takes us from children all over the world working for .20/hr 150 years ago, to me paying $400 bucks for my kid to play travel lacrosse today. The world is pretty tight.

      • adamsjohn714 - Oct 16, 2013 at 1:38 PM

        unfortunately, the world is run by human beings, some of which like to hang onto that money instead of using it to improve things.

  7. rickyspanish - Oct 15, 2013 at 8:19 PM


    I’ve only seen YouTube clips of Wiggins. He dominated high schoolers. I don’t watch college hoops but I’m going to watch a few Kansas games because of the hype. If he’s half as dominant as he looked against 17 and 16 year olds, he’s gonna be good.

  8. hildezero - Oct 15, 2013 at 8:22 PM

    Wait… So this guy just came out of high school and is about to enter barely his freshman year in college and already wants to play in the NBA for the next next season? He should play for two years.

    • mustangs2 - Oct 15, 2013 at 10:43 PM

      Just two? There should be mandatory 4 years and then a season in the D-League!


    • jpstyles314 - Oct 16, 2013 at 2:22 AM

      Yeah, because we all know injuries never end careers. Going to college is the only way he can get drafted #1 overall….

      I would sign the contract and play overseas. If anything unfortunate happened I’ll be happy with the money I made using my talents, but not making other millionaires money while profiting off of me.

      • thirdistheworrd - Oct 16, 2013 at 1:28 PM

        jp- no question. If you have that kind of talent and half a brain, playing just a year in Europe will set you up for life. On the other hand, playing just a year in college could land you with a destroyed knee and a degree in “communication studies”. hildezero, have you ever followed basketball before?

  9. johngalt1783 - Oct 15, 2013 at 8:24 PM

    Is that a max contract?

  10. garyleee - Oct 15, 2013 at 8:51 PM

    Go Celtics!!! Shoot I mean lose Celtics

  11. hildezero - Oct 16, 2013 at 1:22 AM


    That was sarcasm? Okay. It better be, because I was about to knock your head.

    • mustangs2 - Oct 16, 2013 at 10:13 AM

      Yup, that would be why I put the “/sarcasm” at the end…

    • mydoghasfleez - Oct 17, 2013 at 12:31 PM

      Threats of violence Hilde? What a bozo!

  12. 00maltliquor - Oct 16, 2013 at 2:12 AM

    Yeah, no pressure Andy………………………

  13. chicitybulls - Oct 16, 2013 at 10:39 AM

    Kurt, you must not be that high on Jabari Parker. You seem to leave him out at times when talking about the upper tier of freshman and the draft class of next year. He was previously the #1 high school player before his injury which is when Wiggins took over the #1 spot. Not to say that Wiggins isn’t deserving of it (I honestly wouldn’t know since I haven’t seen Wiggins play much at all) but I think that Parker is in that upper tier and will be a top 3 pick at worst next year.

    • Kurt Helin - Oct 18, 2013 at 5:33 PM

      What I know of Parker sounds good, but what I also know is DraftExpress currently has him No. 7 next year.

  14. mackcarrington - Oct 16, 2013 at 7:17 PM

    Just throw me the money!

  15. mannyicey - Oct 17, 2013 at 12:05 PM

    I don’t get it:

    If you had $180,000,000 waiting for you- why are you playing basketball for free? If he was my son, I would tell him to walk away from the scholarship and walk onto some NBA team. And if he couldn’t, I would have him to do the commercials and create a marketing campaign around him. But he wouldn’t play for any college.

    I mean, why risk $180,000,000 on a game where he can get hurt? That’s why I don’t really believe it. I mean, go and sign my son to a $180,000,000 deal and he’ll finish high school via tutoring.

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