DeAndre Ayton RumorsAll NBA Players
B/R: Why is it significant for you to get in on the ground level with Puma? Deandre Ayton: I don’t want to be under nobody else. If I’m over here trying to bring on my shoe, and you’ve got somebody like LeBron [James] out here, you got the [Kevin Durants] out there, I’m not trying to be really competing with those guys like that. It’s always good to start your own thing and try to be great in it.
Ayton shares a homeland connection to two of its biggest ambassadors, Olympic sprinter Usain Bolt and pop star Rihanna, after growing up in the Caribbean. “Puma is pretty popular in the Bahamas,” said Ayton. “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.”
Michael Scotto: Deandre Ayton, the projected No. 1 pick of the 2018 NBA Draft, will be the highest paid player annually by a shoe brand in this draft class after signing a multi-year deal with Puma, a source told The Athletic. ESPN first reported the multi-year deal between Ayton and Puma.
Ayton declared himself the No. 1 pick after his workout with the Suns, and all indications are that Phoenix will choose him first. The Suns have looked at other candidates for this spot, and there is always a chance (however slim) that the top pick could be moved. Not likely, though. Ayton has a lot riding on going first because he has only worked out for the Suns, and a source noted that he will not work out for any other team before the draft.