Puma is reportedly ready to hand over the bag to Marvin Bagley III. According to Jon Krawczynski of The Athletic, Bagley is expected to ink a five-year contract with Puma that would be the largest rookie shoe deal since Kevin Durant signed with Nike.
When Durant signed with Nike in 2007, he received $60 million over seven years with a $12 million signing bonus.
The move is a clear sign that Puma wants to get back into the NBA landscape, and believe that the former Duke product is the perfect rookie worth putting their money on. The company knew that they needed to go big financially to woo him away from the more traditional choices of Nike, Adidas, and Under Armour. The last player to sign with Puma was Vince Carter in 1998.
As the league continues to gain more and more exposure, the players’ footwear has garnered nearly just as much attention as their play on the court. Puma’s decision to jump on the NBA wave with Bagley feels like a good risk, but it’s a risk nonetheless.
In his only season with the Blue Devils, Bagley averaged 21 points and 11.1 rebounds per game while shooting 61.4 percent from the field. At 6-foot-11 and 234 pounds, his size could help aid him in his transition to the NBA. The teams vying for his services early in the first round will certainly market him heavily considering his potential as a cornerstone player for years to come. All signs are pointing up for Puma with this rumored deal, and they may not be done there.