Zach LaVine is a two-time NBA Slam Dunk Contest champion and is only 22 years old. The 6’5″ guard averaged 18.9 points per game with the Minnesota Timberwolves last season and was the centerpiece of the Chicago Bulls’ return in the Jimmy Butler trade over the offseason. For his first three seasons, LaVine kept getting better and with a still-massive upside given his tremendous athletic ability. However, he tore his ACL in February, and he’s still out while he recovers from the injury. While most athletes these days make a full recovery from a first torn ACL, there’s always the possibility the athlete loses some explosiveness, and that’s crucial to LaVine’s game.
Well, Adidas sure seems confident that LaVine will be just fine. ESPN’s Nick DePaula reports that LaVine and Adidas have agreed to a four-year deal “that could be worth as much as $35 million.”
After receiving strong interest from several footwear brands, Chicago Bulls guard Zach LaVine has agreed to terms with Adidas on a four-year endorsement deal that could be worth as much as $35 million, industry sources told ESPN on Thursday.
“I was looking for a partner that would grow with me as my career continues to unfold,” LaVine said to ESPN. “Adidas convinced me that I have a chance to legitimately become a face of the brand.”
DePaula adds that the contract is “structured in a way to reward LaVine” if he’s still playing at a high level when he returns from the injury.
The deal is also structured in a way to reward LaVine, a two-time Slam Dunk Contest champion who averaged 18.9 points last season with the Timberwolves, should he break out as an All-Star level player once he returns from the injury.
“It’s a different contract than anything we’ve done recently,” a brand source said.
The UCLA product wore Nike for his first three NBA seasons, and Nike had the opportunity to match Adidas’ offer, but declined.
Another takeaway from the story is it sure sounds like LaVine plans to have a long future in Chicago, despite being a restricted free agent next offseason. DePaula said how LaVine hopes to be “the future face” of the Bulls franchise, and LaVine referenced Adidas’ “brand presence already in Chicago” as a reason for choosing them. Now, obviously the Bulls’ front office will have to see how LaVine looks following the torn ACL, but they currently seem to feel the same way that he does about the idea of a lengthy future in Chicago.
Between LaVine’s Adidas shoe deal and upcoming contract (almost surely with the Bulls), he’s quickly going to become a very rich man.