A league source told CSSNW's Chris Haynes that the star point guard is on the verge of signing a fat shoe deal that will keep him with Adidas.
"Portland Trail Blazers guard Damian Lillard and adidas are on the cusp of finalizing a multiyear, lucrative shoe endorsement deal," he writes.
Back in February, it was Haynes who revealed that Lillard would opt out of his current agreement with Adidas. Rival companies were expected to aggressively pursue the sophomore sensation, with Haynes noting that Nike stood the "best chance of luring Lillard away from adidas."
Rather than risk losing their top "feet agent," Haynes says Adidas took advantage of an exclusive negotiating window:
Adidas had a 30-day exclusive window to reach an agreement with Lillard and that period was set to expire on April. 1, according to another source briefed on the situation. If a deal was not reached, conversations with Nike and other shoe rivals would have commenced as soon as this week, we’re told.
However, the talks have progressed to the point where adidas is in the driver’s seat.
Adidas was in no position to lose Lillard. Not with Derrick Rose of the Chicago Bulls currently collecting on a nine-figure pact without playing. It needs a young, healthy and up-and-coming face for its brand. Lillard is the best option at this point.
As Blazer's Edge's Ben Golliver reminds us, Lillard "has worn adidas shoes throughout his NBA career but he does not yet have his own signature line." Expect that signature line to come soon, now that Lillard is locked down for the foreseeable future.
"We’re close,” Lillard told Haynes of the new contract. "Nothing final yet."
While it's unclear how much Lillard's deal is actually worth, the term "lucrative" speaks for itself, as does the full-court press Adidas put on Portland's point man.
Last month, Adidas made him a pair of "#4BarFriday" shoes that had lyrics he wrote printed on it. You have to imagine that was all part of the wooing process.
Whatever works, I guess. Whatever Adidas actually did, it worked. Lillard isn't going anywhere. He won't be poached by Nike, Brand Jordan, Under Armour or FUBU Reebok. He's still an Adidas guy.
All that's left to wonder now is how much it cost to keep him from joining competing brands.
What kind of rich is Adidas about to make Lillard?
Swimming-in-hundy-sticks loaded? Drowning-in-hundy-sticks affluent? Suits-and-houses-made-of-money wealthy?
"I'm excited," he told Haynes.
As you should be, Damian. As you should be.
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