The 2018 NBA Draft figures to be a wild event as there is all kinds of intrigue into what teams will do throughout the night, from potentially controversial picks to tons of trade rumors swirling about teams all over the board.
However, while there will almost assuredly be some big surprises come Thursday night, one of the biggest surprises of this year’s draft has been the emergence of Puma as the most aggressive sneaker brand in signing top prospect. Deandre Ayton, Marvin Bagley III, and Zhaire Smith have all inked deals with the brand as they get back into creating basketball shoes for the first time in two decades.
Puma wasn’t done there, though, as they have also signed one of the draft’s most polarizing prospects in Michael Porter Jr., taking a chance on the 6’10 wing that is an offensive dynamo, but one who has health questions.
Like the NBA teams that will be drafting these players, the sneaker companies also have to factor in risk and reward when signing prospects. In this draft, there may not be a player with a wider gap from possible floor to ceiling than Porter Jr. given his back trouble, but if he stays healthy and maximizes his talents he could end up being a legitimate superstar.
With Puma’s first two major signings both being traditional bigs, it makes sense that they’d go after an uber-athletic guard in Smith and then a potential superstar on the wing in Porter Jr. Team Puma is a fascinating grouping of prospects, and with the debut of the Clyde Court, Puma is well on its way to making serious noise in the NBA.