$16MILLION in a single deal and he hasn't even played a game: Australian teen basketball prodigy Ben Simmons signs huge Nike shoe contract before NBA draft
- Ben Simmons signs lucrative shoe deal with Nike ahead of NBA Draft
- Simmons is expected to be one of the first two players taken in the draft
- The 19-year-old's agreement with Nike worth $16 million for five years
- He reportedly turned down a contract with Adidas worth $18 million
Australian basketball phenomenon Ben Simmons, 19, has signed a shoe deal worth more than $16million with Nike before even playing his first game in the NBA.
Simmons, one of the top prospects in the upcoming NBA Draft, announced the news in a video message on Wednesday.
'I'd like to announce I've signed with Nike. I'm excited, I'm blessed, it's an amazing opportunity for me and my family,' Simmons told US sports website Bleacher Report.
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Australian basketball phenom Ben Simmons (pictured) has signed a lucrative shoe deal with Nike before even playing his first game in the NBA
'A lot of hard work has gone into this, all the support from my fans, friends, family, I wouldn't be here without them, and there's a lot of work about to be put in.
'I'm looking forward to this journey, it's going to be long and rough, ups and downs, but it's going to be great.'
The Melbourne teen's deal with Nike is worth $16.1 million and will run for his first five seasons in the NBA, according toThe Vertical.
Incredibly, Simmons turned down an even more lucrative contract with rival shoe giant Adidas, which was offering him a five year deal worth as much as $17.5 million - including signing bonuses and incentives.
'I'd like to announce I've signed with Nike. I'm excited, I'm blessed, it's an amazing opportunity for me and my family,' Simmons (pictured) said
The 19-year-old from Melbourne's deal with Nike (pictured) is reportedly worth $16 million and will run for his first five seasons in the NBA
It is believed one of the main reasons the Australian signed with Nike is that his agency, Klutch Sports - which represents fellow Nike superstar LeBron James, has a strong relationship with the brand.
Simmons will officially enter the NBA later this month, with the league's Draft to be held on June 24 in New York City.
The 19-year-old is expected to be one of the first two players chosen, after beginning his college season with Louisiana State University as the consensus number one pick according to many experts.
Simmons reportedly turned down an even more lucrative contract with rival shoe giant Adidas, which was offering him a five year deal worth as much as $17.5 million - including signing bonuses and incentives
The budding Australian superstar is expected to be one of the first two players chosen in this month's NBA Draft
Simmons signed with Nike (pictured) a year after the top two picks of the 2015 NBA Draft also joined the shoe company
The Philadelphia 76ers and Los Angeles Lakers hold the first two picks in the draft, and Simmons has previously expressed his desire to join the Lakers.
However, if he is selected first by Philadelphia, the young Melburnian will link up with former Australian national basketball team coach Brett Brown.
Brown was in charge of the Boomers for three years between 2009 and 2012, having previously coached North Melbourne Giants in the NBL.
'We're excited with the position we are now in,' Brown said after Philadelphia won the NBA Draft Lottery.
LeBron James, one of the NBA's biggest stars, recently signed a lifetime deal with Nike - which his agent suggested could be worth more than a billion dollars
Recently retired Los Angeles Lakers superstar Kobe Bryant was also sponsored by Nike, and Simmons could find himself filling the shoes Bryant left on the Lakers - who have the second pick in the 2016 NBA Draft
Simmons was born in Melbourne and played junior basketball there and also in Newcastle, where he lived between the age of one and 10 before returning to Victoria.
In 2013, he moved to Florida to attend Montverde Academy and only began playing for LSU in November 2015 during his freshman year.
His standing slipped slightly throughout his college season, with Duke University's Brandon Ingram emerging as a potential number one draft pick.
Simmons deal stacks up similarly with top draft picks in the last two NBA Drafts, with 2014 number one pick Andrew Wiggins signing a deal worth about $16 million over five years with Adidas.
In 2015, the first and second picks in the draft - Karl-Anthony Towns and D'Angelo Russell - both signed with Nike.
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