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Puma hasn’t endorsed an NBA player in nearly 20 years, but that fact may soon change.
The Athletic’s Jon Krawczynski reported Thursday that Marvin Bagley III is going to sign a five-year deal with the brand. Krawczynski also added that the deal for the projected 2018 NBA Draft lottery pick “is expected to be the largest rookie shoe deal since Kevin Durant [who signed a seven-year, $60 million contract with Nike].”
The last NBA player to sign with Puma was Vince Carter in 1998. The sides agreed to a 10-year deal that fell through two years in. The brand left the sport soon after and has been absent ever since.
Weeks ago, ESPN’s Nick DePaula reported Puma’s possible interest in one of Bagley’s fellow lottery picks — former Oklahoma point guard Trae Young. At the time of that report, ESPN said Puma planned “to present Young with a prototype of its upcoming fall basketball sneaker.”
Bagley is projected to be picked No. 5 by the Dallas Mavericks in Yahoo’s latest 2018 NBA mock draft, and he may not be the only player Puma pursues, per The Athletic.
Last year, as a freshman at Duke, the 6-foot-11 forward averaged 21 points and 11.1 rebounds per game.
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