Nike interested in signing Lonzo Ball, but not for LaVar's $1 billion asking price

LaVar Ball recently set the price tag for an endorsement deal for Lonzo Ball and his two younger sons at a cool asking price of $1 billion

Yes, that number seems a bit farfetched. None of the Ball brothers have played a minute in the NBA, after all. But according to an interview with USA Today, Nike co-founder Phil Knight apparently hasn’t been scared off by it, confirming that Nike has interest in signing Lonzo, who declared for the NBA draft after UCLA’s loss to Kentucky in the Sweet 16.

“If he can get it, get it,” Knight said of Ball’s $1 billion asking price. “It’s a little steep. ... He’s an awfully great player. Yeah, we have an interest.”

Lonzo is projected as a top-10 pick in the upcoming NBA draft while LiAngelo, a high school senior, and LaMelo, a high school sophomore, have yet to make it to the college level. Both younger Ball brothers are committed to UCLA. 

That billion dollars would be well spent if all three are projected to be NBA superstars, perhaps. But of the group, Lonzo, at least for now, appears to be the only one destined to be a potential star in the league. Both LiAngelo and LaMelo have thrived in Chino Hills’ wide-open offensive system, but both might struggle to adapt to the college game as Bruins in Westwood. 

If you’re going to get a billion dollars in endorsement money on a package deal like LaVar Ball is pitching, it makes sense that most companies would want it to be more of a sure thing before they dish out LeBron James-type money.

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