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Report: Ben Simmons wants Lakers to draft him so he can sign bigger shoe contract

SEC Basketball Tournament - Semifinals

NASHVILLE, TN - MARCH 12: Ben Simmons #25 of the LSU Tigers dribbles the ball in the game against the Texas A&M Aggies during the semifinals of the SEC Tournament at Bridgestone Arena on March 12, 2016 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)

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Potential No. 1 draft pick Ben Simmons is still trying to secure a shoe deal.

Nick DePaula of Yahoo Sports:

Simmons has five-year endorsement offers from adidas and Nike. Adidas is offering a $10 million deal that also includes a $2 million signing bonus and a $1 million incentive bonus for being named Rookie of the Year. There are also several other on-court performance triggers that would provide Simmons with elevated marketing, extra resources and possibly his own signature shoe should he play at an All-Star level.

Nike is offering $7.5 million over five years with fewer performance incentives than the adidas contract structure. Nike, which presented second to Simmons last week, has shown an unwillingness to budge, sources said. Both offers are considered fair for a top pick.

The early strategy from Simmons and his Klutch Sports Group representation was believed to be a desire to sign a shoe deal before the draft lottery, but they aren’t satisfied with the Nike offer, sources said. They’re hoping that if the Lakers land the top overall pick – which they have a 19.9 percent chance of doing – Nike will move closer to matching adidas’ offer.

The Lakers likely need the No. 1 pick (19.9% chance of landing it) to get Simmons. He might fall to No. 2 (18.8%), but No. 3 (17.1%) seems practically impossible. Of course, anything lower (44.2%), and the Lakers lose their pick.

Even if the Lakers get a top pick, they could trade it. They seem set on winning sooner than later.

So, there’s a lot standing between Simmons and the Lakers.

But he has some control over the process. He can choose when and where to work out, perhaps dissuading a team picking in front the Lakers.

And the stakes are relatively high. The rookie scale limits Simmons’ salary far below market value. Here’s how much Simmons stands to earn over the next four years as the No. 1 or No. 2 pick:

  • No. 1 pick: $26,620,450 ($12,072,000 guaranteed)
  • No. 2 pick:$23,823,685 ($10,801,080 guaranteed)

A little extra shoe money could prove important in his life. I don’t blame him for trying to get it – even if the odds are against him.