A little over a month ago, Chris Haynes of CSNNW reported that Trail Blazers point guard Damian Lillard would opt out of his endorsement contract with adidas in order to negotiate a new agreement. According to Haynes, there was a clause in Lillard contract that allowed him to opt out early should he win Rookie of the Year and be named to an All-Star roster. Lillard achieved both milestones, and thus earned the right to negotiate a new, more lucrative deal.
Today, it was announced that Lillard and adidas have renewed their partnership, albeit at a high dollar figure, which was always the most likely outcome even though the second-year guard supposedly entertained offers from other companies. And according to Sam Amick of USA Today, Lillard’s new deal is potentially the third-largest sneaker endorsement in the NBA …
Damian Lillard’s banner year continued Monday, when the second-year Portland Trail Blazers point guard finalized a new shoe contract with Adidas that is believed to be among the most lucrative of any player in the NBA.
While the exact figures of the deal were not immediately known, a person with knowledge of the contract said it is smaller only than that of Chicago Bulls point guard Derrick Rose (reportedly $185 million over 13 years with Adidas) and the Miami Heat’s LeBron James (reportedly $20 million annually with Nike) among NBA players. The person spoke on the condition of anonymity because the financial terms are not typically disclosed.
According to Forbes, the next-largest contract after Rose and James (Forbes actually has Kobe Bryant making $34 million a year from Nike, second-most behind LeBron) is Kevin Durant at $14 million a year (though I’ve heard from multiple sources that Forbes numbers are off by quite a bit). If Lillard’s new deal with adidas is somewhere north of that … wow.
And while Lillard and his representation, Goodwin Sports Management, are the big winners, those of you who would like to see the Trail Blazers get more national attention have to be pretty happy with this news. That goes double if you’re hoping to own a pair of signature Damian Lillard sneakers, which one would assume would be in the works if his new endorsement is really in the eight-figure range.
UPDATE: Chris Haynes has a little more detail about Lillard’s contract …
The deal, according to another source, is an eight-year contract that has the potential to stretch out to 10 years if he reaches certain incentive clauses. We’ve confirmed Lillard’s new contract is slightly less than that of Derrick Rose.