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Is Ben Simmons Trying to Get Drafted by Lakers So He Can Get Bigger Nike Contract?

Depending on how the draft lottery goes and what teams feel like who'll fit best with their roster, Ben Simmons will likely be the No. 1 or No. 2 overall pick of the upcoming 2016 NBA Draft. He and Brandon Ingram are consensus two best players of this class.

Simmons recently signed with LeBron James' sports agency, so he looks to be in good hands business-wise. With that, it's already being reported that the LSU star has been receiving endorsement deals from the likes of Adidas and Nike.

Per Yahoo! Sports, Simmons has received a $10 million deal from Adidas with $3 million in signing bonuses and incentives. On the other hand, Nike is offering $7.5 million over five years, but they are not willing to negotiate. 

With LeBron and mostly everybody on his team being on Nike, it would make sense for Simmons to pursue a deal with the swoosh. However, the three-stripes are obviously offering more money. 

It seems like Simmons has a plan in place to command more money from Nike. Per sources, he looks to get drafted by a big-market team, most likely the Los Angeles Lakers.

Simmons can convince Nike to give him more money if he is able to go to a large-market team like the Lakers or Knicks, instead of falling to a franchise like the 76ers or Suns. 

It definitely makes sense, since D'Angelo Russell pulled the same card last year on Nike, who swayed him away from signing with Adidas. We'll see if Simmons is able to pull that off come next month.

-- Josh Dhani

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