Australian basketball sensation Ben Simmons could sign a shoe deal worth more than $US 100 million ($AUS 135 million), according to a former Nike executive.
Simmons, the expected No. 1 pick in June's NBA draft, is expected to be at the centre of a bidding war between shoe giants Nike, Adidas and Under Armour.
Former Nike marketing executive Sonny Vaccaro, who signed a young Michael Jordan to his first sneaker deal, said he wouldn't be surprised if the Melbourne-born 19-year-old snared a $US 100 million-plus shoe contract.
Vaccaro said the final number could exceed the $US 90 million multiyear deal LeBron James signed out of high school in 2003, believing $US 100 million was "not enough because times have changed."
"The number's been stagnant since LeBron," Vaccaro told SportsNet New York on Thursday.
"It would be the new precedent because LeBron was the last and [Simmons] has the makings in the mind of the NBA that he could be a great, great player."
Relative newcomer Under Armour has been aggressively snapping up sports stars to snare market share from Nike and Adidas.
"Under Armour is on a roll with [NBA MVP] Steph Curry, and they've gotta get another young one now, and this kid is in a great position," Vaccaro said.
If Simmons is the No. 1 pick in the draft, he will also sign a rookie contract with his team -- possibly the Philadelphia 76ers or Los Angeles Lakers -- for about $US 5 million a season.
The lofty numbers come as Simmons' faltering Louisiana State University team appears likely to miss the end-of-season NCAA tournament.
Simmons has averaged an astonishing 20 points, 12 rebounds and 5 assists in his freshman season while LSU has had a disappointing 18-12 record.
Simmons and LSU could still turn their season around.
They face the nationally ranked Kentucky Wildcats in the final game of their regular season on Saturday, then need to string multiple wins together in their Southeastern Conference end-of-season tournament.
If they win the SEC tournament, they will guarantee a spot in the NCAA tournament.