Zion Williamson is the biggest NBA prospect in years, and arguably the biggest since LeBron James. As such, he's in line for a massive sneaker deal that could be record-breaking.
According to sneaker analyst Matt Powell of NPD Group in an interview with Yahoo! Finance, Zion is likely to sign with whichever sneaker company "offers him the most money." As for the actual amount, the deal is expected to be worth a lot more than what the typical rookie receives.
“My gut is that he’s ultimately going to sign with whoever pays him the most money,” Powell said on the Yahoo Finance Sportsbook podcast. “And there’s obviously real logic in doing that.”
“I do think this will be a larger-than-normal contract,” says Powell. “I think because of Williamson’s talent, he’s going to bring in much more than the $1 million or $2 million that most rookies get. But at the end of the day, I don’t think he will earn out what anyone pays him.”
Steiner Sports Marketing CEO Brandon Steiner suggested that Zion's deal could ultimately be worth upwards of $100 million. Such a mark would be the highest ever for an NBA rookie.
“It wouldn’t be outrageous by any stretch,” Steiner told Yahoo Finance. “He’s got that buzz, that ‘it’ factor that doesn’t come around, and that’s what kids want.”
Zion's Nike shoe famously exploded during a game between Duke and UNC. The brand ultimately designed a special shoe made specially for him, but has yet to make any sort of deal with him.
At $10 million per year over ten years, Zion's deal would be larger than the $8.5 million per year that Kevin Durant gets from Nike.
The 18-year-old Duke forward is the presumptive No. 1 overall pick in the 2019 NBA Draft