Cam Christie’s NIL Value is Reportedly Up to $10,000/mo; Pharrel Payne’s Rising Too

NCAA Basketball: Ohio State at Minnesota
Matt Krohn-USA TODAY Sports

At 17-7 (7-6), the Minnesota Gophers men’s basketball team is dangerously close to forcing its way into the 2024 NCAA Tournament conversation. In fact, should they earn a win on Sunday vs the Nebraska Cornhuskers, they’ll be far enough up the NET rankings that bracketologists won’t be able to leave them out anymore.

A sizeable chunk of Ben Johnson’s year-3 turnaround has been sparked by true freshman and budding young superstar, Cam Christie. His combination of perimeter length and skill on both sides of the floor have stuck out since the fall.

But it’s Cam’s ability to get his own bucket from all areas of the court that have opened eyes around the country, at both the collegiate and NBA level, since the Big Ten season started heating up in January. I mean look at some of these dribble pull-ups. You just don’t see these types of makes in college basketball anymore.

Christie is averaging 11 points, 3.6 rebounds and 2.4 assists on 28.4 minutes per game this season but those numbers are all up recently. Cam had a tough night vs Ohio State, dropping just 5 points on 1-of-6 shooting in 24 minutes. But in the six games prior to Thursday night, the freshman from Rolling Meadows, IL averaged 14.8 points and 48% from deep, on 37 minutes per game.

Cam Christie for Big Ten Freshman of the Year?

Cam Christie is one of the leaders for Big Ten Freshman of the Year. If he were to win that award, he’d be the first Gopher to do so since Kris Humphries in 2003-04 and only the third in program history. Rick Rickert is the only other Golden Gophers who has won Big Ten Freshman of the Year (2001-02).

Kris Humphries left school after his huge freshman season and there have been preliminary reports that Cam Christie could go through the pre-draft process this offseason too. But as of now, the NBA doesn’t appear to be the most likely future on his radar. That doesn’t mean the Gophers can breathe easy about losing him, though. Not in the unlimited Name, Image and Likeness world that is college athletics in 2024.

Related: How Can Minnesota Gophers Make the 2024 NCAA Tournament?

Minnesota Gophers will have to pay to keep Christie, Payne

Veteran Pioneer Press columnist, insider and former Minnesota Twins pitcher Charley “Shooter” Walters put by far the most concrete value on both Christie and his big man teammate (sophomore) Pharrel Payne, should they be open to NIL offers from outside schools this offseason. According to Shooter, Christie’s market value is up to $10,000 per month; Payne’s $3K-$4K per month.

Market value suggests it could cost nearly $10,000 a month over the school year in name, image and likeness (NIL) money for the Gophers men’s basketball team to retain freshman star Cam Christie, and between $3,000 and $4,000 a month to keep sophomore Pharrell Payne next season.

Charley Walters – Pioneer Press

There is no doubt Cam will have plenty of blue blood suitors in his DMs, come April. Let’s be real, he probably has plenty of that going on right now, if he is paying attention. Pharrel Payne, a local kid, is very important to what the Gophers are trying to build too.

Related: Gophers Beat Jamison Battle’s Buckeyes; Close in on NCAA Tournament Conversation

Elite classic front-court players like Payne are the only player type that college basketball coaches can count on sticking around for 3-4 years. While it’s probably true that Christie and Payne loves Ben Johnson and the University of Minnesota, this is a country of capitalism, where money talks.

And the youngsters’ market values are both climbing with every big game they have. I hope their 3rd-year head coach has a plan because losing either Christie or Payne would be DEVASTATING to what Ben is trying to build.

Mentioned in this article:

More About: