The Los Angeles Lakers believe made the right selection when taking point guard Lonzo Ball with the second pick in the 2017 NBA Draft, cementing in a new era of Lakers basketball. Now slated as the leader of the franchise, Ball has a chance to excel alongside his Lakers teammates.
Entering the draft, the big news surrounding Ball was his family’s decision to launch the Big Baller Brand, along with announcement regarding his first signature shoe, the ZO2s (worth $495). Ball, with some guidance from his father, elected to forgo offers from Nike, Adidas, and Under Armour, in favor of becoming the first rookie with his own brand.
While the creative freedom and sole ownership is something that the Ball family has encouraged from the get go, it also comes with trade offs. Their decision to decline all possible sponsorships from the major shoe companies also means a lot of potential money left on the table, via ESPN’s Nick DePaula:
If Lonzo Ball had been interested in signing a traditional endorsement deal, brands were expected to initially offer at least $1.5 million per year. That would be in line with offers made to fellow rookies Markelle Fultz, De’Aaron Fox and Josh Jackson. After being drafted by the Lakers as the second overall pick, Ball’s base number realistically could have escalated to more than $2.5 million per year, according to multiple brand sources.
LaVar’s comments designated towards Nike, Adidas, and Under Armour were brushed off as confident, asking for a ridiculous amount of money to just complete a partnership. Leaving $2.5 million a year is a bold decision, but there was still the potential for even more money due to different on-court incentives.
If Ball were selected to the Rising Stars Challenge, the All-Rookie team, or even as the Rookie of the Year, his numbers would jump a considerable amount. The value could have jumped to a total of $3 million per season, meaning a potential total of $15 million left on the table.
However, the Big Baller Brand has started off on a successful note, with over 700 sneaker orders being processed. While trying to complete these orders before that Nov. 24 promised ship date, they also get a sense of how difficult the process can be without the help of the likes of Nike, Under Armour, and Adidas.