Adidas has made a big play for the biggest basketball sneaker free agent of the summer of 2015. The company has submitted a bid of $200 million over 13 years to sign Houston Rockets guard James Harden, sources told ESPN.com. Nike, whose deal with Harden recently expired, has until the end of next week to match the deal or lose him.
With incentives, if the deal is consummated, Harden could very well make more from Adidas in the coming years than the Rockets. Harden signed an $80 million contract extension with Houston in 2012 that goes through the 2017-18 season.
There’s also international hope for Harden, as the Rockets already are very popular in China thanks to former player Yao Ming. Sources say part of what Adidas is willing to pay has to do with the potential for the masses to embrace Harden on a even greater scale if the Rockets can make more of a splash in the playoffs in the coming years.