- John Wall's incentive-laden deal with Adidas is a big bet on himself—but it also protects the Wizards star from losing money if he is sidelined in the first two years. SI.com has obtained the exclusive details.
John Wall has spent his NBA career with only one team. But the Washington Wizards guard has been less attached—footloose, you might call it—with his sneaker relationships. When Wall was the No. 1 pick in the 2010 NBA draft, he signed a five-year, $25 million deal with Reebok. In January of 2013, Wall announced that he was leaving the brand for Adidas.
Two years later, Wall announced that he was leaving Adidas, reportedly unhappy that the $7.5 million base he was being offered paled in comparison to the $15 million being lavished to Rockets star James Harden. For the next two years in Wizards games, Wall wore a variety of shoes, including Nike and Jordan Brand, as well as Adidas.
In early January, though, Wall announced that he was reuniting with Adidas. According to documents obtained by SI, Wall’s deal calls for him to be paid, in principle, a base of $4.825 million in 2017-2018; which then increases marginally and returns to $4.825 million in 2021-22. (While Wall will not have a signature shoe with Adidas, this deal permits him to collaborate on footwear with fellow clients like Kanye West and Pharrell, a likelihood, his representatives tell SI.)
While those numbers are a fraction of what Adidas is still paying Derrick Rose, Wall can earn millions more if he meets various bonuses. As Wall told SB Nation: “People hear and say what they might see about a shoe deal, but they never see the real breakdown of the contract and understand incentives and those type of things in there.”
The documents SI obtained do reveal the terms of Wall’s new agreed upon deal, however. In addition to Wall’s base, he is eligible for the following bonuses according to his terms with Adidas:
• All-Star MVP — $500,000
• All-Star Reserve — $150,000
• All-Star Starter — $300,000
• First Team All-NBA — $750,000
• Second Team All-NBA — $500,000
• Third Team All-NBA — $250,000
• Defensive Player of the Year — $300,000
• First Team All Defense — $100,000
• Second Team All Defense — $50,000
• First round of the Playoffs — $25,000
• Conference Semifinals — $50,000
• Conference Finals — $150,000
• NBA Finals Runner-up — $250,000
• NBA Champion — $500,00
• NBA Finals MVP — $500,000
• NBA Finals MVP — $500,000
• Leads NBA in scoring —$150,000
• World or Olympic gold medal — $500,000 (must play 15 minutes in gold medal game to earn bonus)
• League Leader in Assists — $250,000
• League Leader in Rebounding — $50,000
• League Leader in Scoring — $50,000
• League Leader in Blocks — $50,000
• League Leader in Steals — $50,000
• Dunk Contest Champion — $1,000,000
• Three-point contest champion — $100,000
• NBA Skills Champion — $50,000
• Dunk Contest Participant — $250,000
• 20/10 Bonus (20 points, 10 assists average) — $150,000
Wall's deal also calls for him to receive a base salary increase of $1 million if he is named league MVP, and a $250,000 base increase for an All-NBA first team selection.
Another significant term of the agreement pertains to Wall’s health. Under most footwear and apparel contracts, athletes face reductions and pro-rations when they are injured and unable to perform. But thanks to a bit of savvy by Wall’s representatives (or a curious concession by Adidas), Wall is subject to no reductions or pro-rations for the first two years. Not until 2019-2020, must he play a minimum of 60 games to avoid pro-ration. Wall’s new Adidas deal was announced on Jan. 7. On Jan. 30, Wall announced that he would undergo surgery on his left knee—described as a “clean up”—that would sideline him until March, causing him to miss up to 20 games, as well as All-Star festivities. (Through his agent, Rich Paul, Wall declined comment. Adidas also declined comment, citing the contract’s confidentiality provision.)
It’s worth noting that, even with the various bonuses, Wall’s Adidas deal is akin to loose change in couch cushions compared to his Wizards contract. Last summer he agreed to a four-year, $170 million extension that will begin in 2019.