Why Puma Won the 2018 NBA Draft

It’s been decades since Puma has been involved in basketball, but this week, the brand did its best to let hoops fans know it Is coming back strong. And of the company’s plans, signing the four college prospects who were available in the 2018 NBA Draft is already making an impact.

Prior to the draft, Puma added Deandre Ayton, Marvin Bagley III, Michael Porter Jr. and Zhaire Smith to its ambassador squad. Two of those ballers, Ayton and Bagley, were taken No. 1 and No. 2 overall by the Phoenix Suns and Sacramento Kings, respectively.

Deandre Ayton Nike KD 10
Deandre Ayton in the Nike KD 10 during his season with the Arizona Wildcats.
CREDIT: Rex Shutterstock

Puma also had one more pick go in the draft lottery, which consists of the 14 teams that did not make the playoffs the season prior, when Porter was selected No. 14 overall by the Denver Nuggets.

Its fourth new rookie ambassador, Smith, was also taken in the first round, going to the Suns with the No. 16 pick.

Having its four ambassadors selected in the first round was a big splash for Puma, which needed a major moment to get noticed in a category crowded by Nike, Jordan Brand, Adidas and Under Armour. (Adidas’ latest two hoops stars, Trae Young and Lonnie Walker IV, were also picked in the first round last night.)

This week, Puma unveiled its Clyde Court Disrupt, a performance basketball sneaker that’s an updated take on the iconic Clyde silhouette worn by New York Knicks legend Walt “Clyde” Frazier.

Duke Marvin Bagley III Nike KD 10
Former Duke hoops star Marvin Bagley III in the Nike KD 10.
CREDIT: Ben McKeown/AP/REX/Shutterstock
Michael Porter Jr. Missouri Nike PG 1
Michael Porter Jr., formerly of Missouri, in the Nike PG 1.
CREDIT: Jeff Roberson/AP/REX/Shutterstock
Zhaire Smith Under Armour Curry 3Zer0
Zhaire Smith in the Under Armour Curry 3Zer0 while playing for Texas Tech.
CREDIT: Brandon Wade/AP/REX/Shutterstock

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