DeAndre Ayton is the likely No. 1 overall pick in Thursday's NBA Draft. The former Arizona Wildcats star has only worked out for the Phoenix Suns. He believes they'll take him with the top overall selection.
Typically, No. 1 overall draft picks sign big shoe deals. Those shoe deals, typically, are with Nike or Adidas.
Ayton is going with someone else. The probable No. 1 overall pick is signing with Puma.
The deal with Puma is a "multimillion-dollar footwear and apparel endorsement," the company announced on Monday.
Puma is making its way back into the basketball market, but it's been out of the game for roughly 20 years. It's also reportedly signing former Duke star Marvin Bagley.
"Puma is pretty popular in the Bahamas," Ayton said, per ESPN. "I've always seen the brand growing up. [Bolt] is one of the first people I saw with the brand. It's important to me that someone I identify with and admire as an athlete is with the same brand."
Ayton announced the news with a simple tweet.
"Life's good," he wrote.
Ayton was reportedly pitched by other brands - Nike, Adidas, etc. - but he really liked what Puma had to offer.
"As I've been in the States, I've seen what they do with entertainers and always liked that," Ayton said, per ESPN. "I see someone like Rihanna recently -- who is a lot like me, we have a similar background -- and she's putting her stamp on the brand. That's something that appeals to me from a creative side. Eventually I want to be a part of bringing this new style of Puma to my people."
The 2018 NBA Draft is set to begin on Thursday night shortly after 7 p.m. E.T. It'll be televised on ESPN.