Puma Nabs Basketball’s Projected No.1 Draft Pick Deandre Ayton With Multimillion-Dollar Deal

FN reported on Puma’s re-entry into basketball today and the brand’s new partnership with Jay-Z, who will serve as president of basketball operations. Additionally, the company announced that No. 1 projected NBA draft pick Deandre Ayton has signed a four-year, multimillion-dollar footwear and apparel endorsement deal with Puma.

The 19-year-old Bahamian basketball star celebrated the deal alongside legendary player Walt “Clyde” Frazier, for which Puma’s iconic 1973 Clyde shoe was named, today at the Puma Hoops headquarters in Brooklyn, N.Y., where the 73-year-old New York Knicks star was honored with a lifetime contract with the athletic giant.

Deandre Ayton, walt clyde fraizer
Walt “Clyde” Frazier and Deandre Ayton.
CREDIT: Getty Images for Puma/Jamie McCarthy

Ayton, a former University of Arizona forward, also took part in a Q&A session with Frazier and Puma’s global director of brand and marketing, Adam Petrick, where he touched on his Caribbean roots and revealed that his favorite player is “KG” (Kevin Garnett).

“Yesterday, I was just a kid in the Bahamas with no worries in the world, so to represent a brand like this is a great opportunity and I thank you guys,” he said.

Fraizer offered Ayton a few words of advice such as, “have a tenacious work ethic” and “don’t gain the world and lose your soul.

Walt “Clyde” Frazier and Deandre Ayton
Walt “Clyde” Frazier and Deandre Ayton.
CREDIT: Getty Images for Puma/Jamie McCarthy

This comes just days after ESPN reported that Marvin Bagley III — who is expected to go early in Thursday’s NBA draft — also signed an endorsement deal with Puma.

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