It appears Puma has found a projected NBA lottery pick to promote their shoes and apparel in the company’s return to the basketball market.
Duke’s Marvin Bagley III has signed a five-year deal with the apparel company, which last had an NBA endorsement deal some 20 years ago, according to multiple reports.
While numbers weren’t given, it was reported that the deal would be the biggest for a rookie since Kevin Durant signed with Nike for seven years and $60 million in 2007.
Puma also reportedly approached for Oklahoma star Trae Young about a deal and is looking into signing other rookies and established stars in its return to the basketball scene.
The last NBA star to sign a deal with Puma was Vince Carter in 1998. That 10-year deal fell apart after two years and the company turned its focus elsewhere.
Puma has worked on partnerships with several celebrities in recent years, including Rihanna, Jay-Z, Kylie Jenner and Selena Gomez. It also has endorsement deals with golfer Rickie Fowler, Olympic sprinter Usain Bolt and several other athletes in other sports.
In his one season at Duke, Bagley broke nine school records, including marks for most 30-point games (seven), double-doubles (22) and dunks (98), while leading the ACC in scoring and rebounding.
Bagley, who averaged 21.0 points and 11.1 rebounds last season, is expected to go in the top five in the 2018 NBA Draft on June 21.
—Field Level Media