Feb 24, 2014, 8:44 AM EDT
Damian Lillard — Mr. Five Events All-Star Weekend — is one of the NBA’s rising stars. A point guard who plays with flair on an entertaining team.
Those kinds of players sell a lot of shoes.
Which makes the news that Damian Lillard is likely opting out of his adidas contract this summer very interesting. It sets up a bidding war. Chris Haynes of CSNNW.com has the details.
Being that he took home the 2012-13 NBA Rookie of the Year award, became an NBA All-Star and reached other unique incentive clauses in his first two seasons, Lillard will be able to opt out of his shoe contract at the end of the basketball season and either renegotiate a more lucrative deal with adidas, or open negotiations with Nike, Brand Jordan, Reebok or Under Armor, league sources informed CSNNW.com.
Another source that’s vastly briefed on Lillard’s situation added, “There’s no doubt about it, he’s opting out.”
This sounds much like an NBA player under the current CBA — if you want to get paid, even if you don’t want to jump teams, you have to first become a free agent.
You can bet adidas is going to try and keep Lillard — right now Derrick Rose is the brand’s biggest name but he has been unable to stay healthy the past couple seasons.
However Lillard will have options. A lot of them.
Rival shoe companies have been well-versed on the matter for months and are expected to make competitive offers, but CSNNW.com is told that Nike stands the best chance of luring Lillard away from adidas.
The bottom line here — Lillard just spent All-Star weekend doing every event possible to help raise his profile, now he’s going to cash in on that a little.
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