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Celtics Rumors: Marcus Smart, Puma Have 'Mutual Interest' in Multiyear Contract

Rob Goldberg@TheRobGoldbergFeatured ColumnistAugust 5, 2019

BOSTON, MASSACHUSETTS - MAY 06: Marcus Smart #36 of the Boston Celtics looks on during the second half of Game 4 of the Eastern Conference Semifinals against the Milwaukee Bucks during the 2019 NBA Playoffs at TD Garden on May 06, 2019 in Boston, Massachusetts. The Bucks defeat the Celtics 113-101. (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)
Maddie Meyer/Getty Images

Boston Celtics guard Marcus Smart could be looking at a deal with Puma.  

According to Nick DePaula of ESPN, he is involved in ongoing talks with the shoe company, and there is "mutual interest" in a multiyear deal. He also wore Puma shoes Monday during a USA Basketball practice.

Smart has had a shoe deal with Adidas since his rookie year, but that contract is set to expire.

Puma has been more aggressive trying to acquire NBA talent in recent years.

The brand landed several top players in the 2018 draft class, including No. 1 pick Deandre Ayton and No. 2 pick Marvin Bagley III. This is in addition to veterans like DeMarcus Cousins, Rudy Gay and Terry Rozier.

DePaula reported that Puma offered 2019 No. 1 pick Zion Williamson a deal worth $15 million per year, although he turned it down to sign with Jordan Brand.

Much of this surge has come after rapper Jay-Z was named a creative director for the organization, adding additional clout as it tries to compete with Nike and others.

Although Smart might not be as big a name as Williamson, he is an established NBA player who is a key contributor to a title contender. He was named first-team All-Defense last season and could have an even bigger role in 2019-20 with Kyrie Irving and Terry Rozier gone, even though the Celtics added Kemba Walker in free agency.

With Puma's U.S. office based out of Boston, Smart could be a valuable addition to the company.