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10 NBA players signed with Puma - Updated 2023

By Aditya Bhattarai / 21 June 2023 05:54 AM

The most popular model of Puma amongst NBA players is the Clyde Woodland and Uproar.
Source : twitter

10 NBA players signed with Puma are 1. LaMelo Ball 2. Walt Frazier, and eight others. Puma is the third largest sports brand after Nike and Adidas.

Rudolf Dassler established Puma in 1948 after falling out with Adolf "Adi" Dassler while running Dassler Brothers Shoe Factory together.

After the split, Adi Dassler created Adidas, while Rudolf started RuDa based on their initials. Later, Rudolf changed the name from RuDa to "Puma Schuhfabrik Rudolf Dassler."

While both Puma and Adidas are German shoe companies, the latter has a more significant impact on the sports world, considering its influence in football and other featured sports. On the other hand, the former gained more attention in the music world along with sports.

They are a formidable competitor for the basketball world and NBA, with comfortable shoes that boast durability and style. Although they have been away from the basketball market for two decades since 1998, they relaunched their performance basketball shoes in 2018.

Returning with a bang, Puma started sponsoring the best prospects of the 2018 NBA draft while roping in some big names to make their presence known in NBA. 

Here are the top ten NBA players they sponsored based on the contract amount and their influence on brand promotions. 

10. R.J. Barrett

New York Knicks shooting guard R.J. Barrett is a Canadian professional basketball player. Barrett signed his first shoe deal with Puma after getting drafted in 2019.

Barrett hopped on the train for their endorsements along with Deandre Ayton and Marvin Beagley III after the brand decided to return to the basketball business.

Knicks Shooting guard R.J. was welcomed grandly by Puma with his face on a huge billboard .
Source : instagram

After being drafted by the Knicks as the third overall pick in the first round of the 2019 NBA draft, R.J. received a multi-year contract from the German shoe company.

Although the details regarding the year and endorsement amount were kept confidential, R.J. has been officially sponsored by them since 2019.

Barrett first wore Puma sneakers at the Summer league debut while openly showing his love for the brand in all the events. Similarly, R.J. wore their shoes to the July Rookie Photoshoot of the NBA.

Following this, the brand opened a new store in Manhattan, with a huge “I Love New York” ad banner featuring Barret’s face for publicity.

Salary And Contract 

R.J. Barrett salary is $23.38 million after the Knicks renewed his contract in 2022. 

Previously, Barrett earned $10.9 million in 2022, which increased by $12.52 million in 2023. The new deal from the Knicks is much better than his initial contract after the draft.

According to the updated contract details in HoopsHype, his salary will increase by a margin of $1,910,714 every year until 2026. In 2024 his salary would be $25,794,643, $27,705,357 in 2025, and $29,616,071 in 2026.

In addition to the salary and incentives from the team, his annual net worth will increase from $24 million in 2023 to $30 million in 2026 after including the endorsement from Puma.

9. Marcus Smart

Marcus Smart signed with Puma in 2019 after being influenced by their connection to hip hop songs. The Boston Celtics drafted Marcus as a 6th overall choice in the 2014 NBA draft.

Initially, he was associated with Adidas as the first brand after the draft, while his love for their Clyde design was always present.

Smart is a Guard known for his defensive skills since he debuted with the Celtics. He was named NBA All-Defensive First team three times and the sixth person to win the NBA Defensive player of the year in 2022.

Marcus showing his slick Puma shoes while wearing a Mr Doodle version of Puma sweatshirt.
Source : twitter

An interview with Solecollector states that Smart was drawn by the brand's cultural authenticity and relationships with hip-hop stars.

Likewise, Smart promoted a new design called Clyde Hardwood in his early years. His statement about his experience wearing a low-top shoe for the first time was a game changer.

Before trying the Clydes, he had never felt that lower-cut shoes could be so comfortable.

Although he tried the brand after Terry convinced him of the values of the brand, Marcus liked the shoes immediately and decided to opt for their designs.

Salary And Contract

Marcus Smart salary for 2022 was $17,207,142 based on the contract with the Celtics. Smart would receive a yearly increase of $1,376,571 until 2025.

Similarly, he would receive $18,583,713 in 2023, further increasing to $19,960,285 in 2024. Lastly, his earnings in the last year of the contract would be $21,336,856, as explained by Hoopshype.

Considering his endorsements with Puma and other brands, Marcus’s annual net worth exceeds $18 million in 2022, $19 million in 2023, $20 million in 2024, and $22 million in 2025.

8. Dennis Schroder

Dennis Schroder is a point guard player for the Los Angeles Lakers of the NBA. Schroder started wearing Puma shoes in 2022 after his contract with Nike ended.

After playing nine seasons with the league, the German professional basketball player Schroder is a veteran NBA star. He is opting for the brand of his nation after the former shoe giant resurfaced in the performance basketball sneakers market.

Schroder pictured with puma T-shirt, shoes and basketball after he signed an endorsement deal with the brand.
Source : twitter

Since they are an international sports brand with its roots in Germany, Schroder is much more suitable to support his native brand, being a German National basketball team player.

Before switching to his native brand, the NBA point guard always wore Nike shoes, especially the Kobe, KD, and Kyrie Models. While Puma is starting to create a dedicated line based on players, they currently have only one line based on the Hornets’ Point Guard LaMelo Ball.

Although Dennis may get his line as a player from the same nation, they have yet to decide on this matter. Preparing for the current NBA season, they had prepared him with the brand's best gear.

Contract Update And Endorsements

Dennis Schroder has signed a one-year contract with the Lakers worth $2.64 million in 2022.

Furthermore, Schroder has endorsement deals with Puma, increasing his annual net worth to $3 million.

Similarly, EuroHoops reported that Dennis turned down a lucrative $81 million deal from Los Angeles Lakers during the 2020-21 NBA season. However, it was later clarified by Shroder after joining the Lakers that such a contract did not exist, and denied his rejection.

7. Terry Rozier

Terry Rozier is the 16th overall pick of the Boston Celtics from the 2015 NBA Draft. Terry has been playing point guard for the Charlotte Hornets since 2019.

The Louisville graduate Terry has always been a fan of Puma, so he showed his support towards the brand after they relaunched their basketball shoes franchise in 2018.

Rozier promoting Puma wearing a Clyde Hardwood design and their basketball.
Source : instagram

While he used to represent Nike before making the switch, he quotes that wearing other brands was like a recess when the real deal is always Puma.

In a feature by Bleacher Report, he explains his feelings for the brand as the interviewer asks questions regarding the change. Rozier further adds that he focuses on their growing opportunities and becoming their promoter, while others focus on Adidas and Nike.

Although there are other players that could give him a tough time realizing his ambition, his marketability as the first guard to join the brand could become a deciding factor. 

His intention to go all in for the brand and become loyal to his community is reflected in his words in the interview.

Contract Update And Endorsements

Rozier is making a yearly amount of $21,486,316 in 2023 based on his four-year contract with the Charlotte Hornets. Terry signed a deal worth $96.2 million until 2026. 

Spotrac mentions that the Hornets point guard is guaranteed to earn $24.92 million in his last year under the condition that he plays 70 games in any season during his contract and the team reaches the 2nd round of the playoffs.

Apart from his contract with the Hornets, he has had a multi-year deal with Puma since 2018, after the brand made its return. They chose to sign the alleged Scary Terry after the season to increase his marketability for the brand.

6. Kyle Kuzma

Kyle Kuzma is a Power forward player for the Washington Wizards of the NBA. Kyle has a five year contract with Puma that started in 2019.

While Brooklyn Nets drafted Kuzma in the 2017 NBA draft, he was dealt to the Lakers in exchange for D’Angelo Russel in the draft-day trade.

The 2020 NBA Champion Kyle won his first championship ring playing for the Lakers before he was traded to the Wizards in 2021.

Kuzma gives the first look for the new Puma Clyde All-Pro Kuzma design.
Source : twitter

Currently, he is focusing on developing as a reliable scorer for the team, as witnessed in the previous NBA season. Being a famous player on their roster, he is entitled to receive $20 million from the shoe deal.

Meanwhile, his first signature shoe while promoting the German brand would be the Clyde All-Pro Kuzma Mid-length shoe. The basketball star is giving his all in making this design as a culture entitled to his name as an icon.

Kuzma had the best opportunity with the then-restarting brand to get his signature line compared to others with multiple best-selling featured designs.

The sneaker manufacturers claim that Kuzma has the largest fan following on Instagram compared to other rookies, which will boost their popularity further, as per Christian Rivas Of SBNation.

Contract Updates And Endorsement

Kyle earns a $13 million salary in 2023 from his deal with the Washington Wizards. Kuzma also gets an annual income from his $20 million endorsement.

The contract with the brand is expected to increase based on the incentives as he continues to gain better results for the brand.

Kuzma is among the highest-earning players on their roster and a featured partner with the German company. The Billboards and advertisements were merged with his nickname Kuz with the brand, making it an aesthetic design with a Puma Cat on top of his name Kuzma.

5. Deandre Ayton

Deandre Ayton is a Bahamian basketball Center playing for the Phoenix Suns in NBA. Ayton was selected by the Suns as a first-overall pick in the 2018 NBA Draft.

The first deal by the German shoe giant to sign Ayton to their roster was inked in 2018 as a part of their attempt to return to the basketball industry. He was assigned Clyde Court Disrupt in his initial years, along with other shoes that suited his massive figure and gameplay.

When the initial contract with them ended, the Pac-12 player of the year winner Ayton landed another three-year deal with the brand in the same year.

Phoenix Center Ayton signed a multi-year deal with Puma in 2018. Then picture on the right is him promoting Clyde Court React after the contract.
Source : twitter

His second deal with the company focused more on charitable activities in the Bahamas and other areas struck by natural disasters. After three years without a signature line, he launched Rs-X Deandre during his second term with the German shoe brand.

Previously, he used to wear custom Court Riders with his nickname “Dominayton” engraved at the heels. The company has shared that they are growing every year with the support of the players on their roster, and Ayton played a big part as a talented Center from the Phoenix Suns.

Ayton led the team to their first NBA Finals in 2021 in 28 years since their last time was in 1993. The NBA star is living up to the expectations as the number one draft pick.

Endorsements and Contract Update

Deandre Ayton has a multi-year endorsement with Puma and an annual salary of $30.9 million with the Suns. The Suns updated his earnings after Ayton signed a four-year extension in 2022.

Ayton's annual net worth value is more than $31 million based on his contract with the team that provides a guaranteed $132.9 million payout until 2026.

4. DeMarcus Cousins

DeMarcus Cousins signed with Puma after their relaunch to promote the brand in the basketball world. Cousins is the first All-Star player on their roster.

After spending a season without being tied to a sneaker brand, the company grabbed the opportunity to get the attention of the Golden State Warrior’s star player in 2018. The eligibility to use the private jet provided a bonus for the many players associated with the brand in the following years.

Cousins signed a lucrative deal with Puma after their relaunch of basketball shoes.
Source : twitter

Cousins had a multi-year contract with the German brand and did his best to promote Clyde Court Disrupt following its launch in 2018. The 7-foot-tall NBA Center gave rise to the slogan “Puma Life Baby” after his post on Instagram became an instant hit among the fans. 

The brand made it an official slogan for T-Shirts and advertisements following the rise in popularity, utilizing his effort.

Drafted by the Sacramento Kings as the 5th overall pick in the 2010 NBA Draft, he had a brilliant career with the team until his Golden years with the Warriors.

The four-time NBA All-Star player is a graduate of Kentucky University and winner of 2010 SEC Rookie of the year in college 2010 and was McDonald’s All-American in his high school.

Likewise, he has played with the US national team and won two gold medals at FIBA Basketball World Cup and Rio Olympics in 2014 and 2016, respectively.

Endorsements And Contract Update

Cousins has been endorsed by the company since 2018 as they worked together to promote the brand. DeMarcus had a salary of $1.2 million with the Nuggets in 2022. 

Meanwhile, he is searching for a team to play in the NBA season 2022-23 as a free agent. NBA center DeMarcus has a lucrative deal with the German brand as they show support and care for their players.

3. Ralph Sampson

Ralph Sampson signed with the brand in 1983, becoming the second high-profile NBA player after Clyde. Sampson was enthusiastic after the band relaunched after 20 years.

The 1985 All-Star NBA MVP of the Houston Rockets had promoted Puma before the brand closed operations for basketball products in 1998.

Ralph was re-endorsed by Puma after its revival in basketball shoes world in 2018.
Source : instagram

The four-time NBA All-Star was pleased with the return of his signature line and their decision to re-include him in their roster to promote the brand. The everlasting design would give the customers a feel of the long history of the company.

The birth of Ralph Sampson's line came after the brand failed to provide size 17 shoes suitable for him through other designs. Sampson was a heavily recruited player of his time, featuring on the cover of Sports Illustrated six times during his career.

“Because if you’re not the predator, you’re the prey” was one of his most popular taglines from the nineties when he was endorsed by the brand. He used to wear their apparel from top to bottom, becoming a live promotion of the brand whenever he went out in public.

Endorsements And Contract Update

Ralph was endorsed by Puma after their resurgence in 2018 while promoting his signature line for the young generations. Sampson retired from NBA in 1995. 

After three knee surgeries, the former NBA All-Star MVP worked as a coach for a few years. With the restart of the basketball shoes, he will obtain further benefits from the brand based on the sales of his signature line.

2. Walt “Clyde” Frazier

Walt “Clyde” Frazier is undoubtedly the most celebrated NBA name in the Puma roster. Walt has two NBA championship rings and seven NBA All-Star player awards.

Frazier was the most decorated player of the seventies, and his influence on the popularity of Clyde Woodland is massive. They are still counted among the most popular designs for basketball players.

Walt Frazier pictured with his signature line Puma Clyde as the first ever brand ambassador of the brand.
Source : instagram

The former NBA point guard is considered the Godfather of the German brand because of his signature shoes that have remained timeless even with 45 years of history behind them.

Half Of Famer Walt was also appointed as the company's brand ambassador in 1973.

After the relaunch, they offered a historic lifetime deal to Frazier where he could resume the position of ambassador while being a part of the creative process of designing along with the usual monetary benefits, as per Wael Saghir of The Score.

After receiving such honors, Walt expressed his joy, expressing his role in designing the iconic Clyde shoes.

Contract And Endorsements

Frazier is the brand ambassador of Puma with a lifetime deal, considering his efforts in designing the Clyde model. Walt is the first NBA player ever to obtain the opportunity.

After signing the contract with the company, the former NBA star is focused on promoting the brand through his network and marketing channels. His connections are widespread thanks to his broadcasting career after retiring in 1979.

1. LaMelo Ball

LaMelo Ball has been signed by Puma for a multi-year $100 million contract since 2021. LaMelo is the heir of the American sports brand BBB. 

Since Ball signed with a company ignoring his family company Big Baller Brand, there was a huge uproar in the sports market. LaMelo stated that he chose the rival brand to fulfill the core requirement of being himself.

While the German shoe company paid its highest-ever price to endorse the 3rd overall pick LaMelo from the NBA Draft 2020, they have also included access to their private jet Gulfstream G-IV.

BBB heir LaMelo Ball launches a signature line with Puma named MB.01on December 2021.
Source : instagram

Despite having a signature line Melo Ball 1 by BBB, LaMar felt joining hands with the German rivals would allow him the freedom to become what he desired. 

BBB owner LaVar Ball mentioned that having his son choose other brands was like a slap on his face when they had already made a design for him. Nonetheless, he allows his sons to pick the brands of their desire.

Being the star point guard of the Charlotte Hornets, Ball was voted NBA Rookie of the year in 2021. The following year he was named an NBA All-Star player showing his capabilities as the best prospect of his batch.

Endorsement Deals And Contract Update

LaMelo has signed the biggest endorsement deal with Puma worth $100 million in 2021. Before this, he represented his family brand BBB, wearing Melo Ball 1.

The new contract spans over ten years, with Ball receiving $10 million annually until 2031, as per Bullswire. While his contract is not the biggest shoe deal, it ranks among the richest in this category.

Later, in 2021, the German brand revealed the signature line MB.01 for LaMelo during the NBA summer camp.