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Deandre Ayton close to signing endorsement deal with Puma, per report

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Puma is breaking into the basketball endorsement industry

USC v Arizona Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images

Puma is breaking into the basketball endorsement industry, and it appears its first big signing is Duke freshman Marvin Bagley III.

Jon Krawczynski of The Athletic is reporting that Bagley is inking a multi-year endorsement deal with Puma that will be the largest rookie shoe deal since Kevin Durant’s seven-year, $60 million deal back in 2007.

Bagley is projected to be a top-five pick in the 2018 NBA Draft, so it’s a good start for Puma, which has not endorsed an NBA player since Vince Carter back in 1998.

But the company isn’t done.

Puma is reportedly targeting other NBA Draft prospects, and one of them is former Arizona Wildcats big man Deandre Ayton, who is “close to a deal” with Puma, according to The Oregonian.

Signing unproven players like Ayton and Bagley to such lucrative contracts is risky, but it could make Puma a legitimate force in the basketball endorsement industry if they become the stars they are projected to be.

Right now the market is dominated by Nike, Adidas, and Under Armour.