TMZ: Puma in Running to Sign Zion Williamson; Nike Also Leader for Pelicans Star

Rob Goldberg@TheRobGoldbergFeatured ColumnistJuly 19, 2019

New Orleans Pelicans' Zion Williamson runs upcourt during the team's NBA summer league basketball game against the New York Knicks on Friday, July 5, 2019, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/Steve Marcus)
Steve Marcus/Associated Press

As Zion Williamson prepares for his first NBA season, the biggest question mark at this point is which shoe company will be able to sign him.

Although Nike has been considered a favorite to land the New Orleans Pelicans star, Puma has reportedly made a "serious push" for Williamson, per TMZ Sports.

"He's the No. 1 priority [for Puma]," a source said.

Williamson hasn't even played a single NBA game to this point, but he could still land a deal north of $100 million due to his popularity.

"There are particular, singular athletes that can move the needle," former Nike and Adidas executive Sonny Vaccaro said, per TMZ Sports. "Zion Williamson has moved the needle before he even became a professional."

Zion certainly has more experience with Nike after wearing the company's apparel in college at Duke, although a blown shoe did cause a knee injury:

Meanwhile, Puma is trying to work its way into the conversation after signing last year's No. 1 pick Deandre Ayton. Adding Williamson to the mix could help the company become extremely popular among the younger audience.

A Chinese company could also get involved while another brand could offer more than $10 million per year, ESPN's Nick DePaula said on The Jump.

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