Knicks News: Rookie RJ Barrett Signs Endorsement Contract with Puma

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured ColumnistAugust 28, 2019

MADISON, NEW JERSEY - AUGUST 11: RJ Barrett of the New York Knicks poses for a portrait during the 2019 NBA Rookie Photo Shoot on August 11, 2019 at the Ferguson Recreation Center in Madison, New Jersey. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
Elsa/Getty Images

New York Knicks rookie RJ Barrett has signed an endorsement deal with Puma, according to ESPN's Nick DePaula.

Nick DePaula @NickDePaula

OFFICIAL: RJ Barrett has signed a multi-year shoe deal with PUMA. More to come live from New York on 31st Street at 4:30 PM... https://t.co/0INe0BPolV

DePaula reported Aug. 5 that Barrett had narrowed his choices to Adidas, Nike and Puma.

SLAM Kicks noted the former Duke star was wearing a pair of Pumas for the 2019 Panini NBA Rookie Photo Shoot earlier this month:

SLAM Kicks @SLAMKicks

RJ Barrett at the rookie shoot in PUMAs 👀 https://t.co/nxpDqPhFFr

Puma made a major splash last year when it signed Deandre Ayton and Marvin Bagley III to signal its intention to grow its basketball footprint. DeMarcus Cousins, Skylar Diggins-Smith and Jackie Young are among the other players who have endorsement deals.

Puma hasn't had nearly the same kind of success with the 2019 NBA rookie class, with Barrett and Cleveland Cavaliers guard Kevin Porter Jr. the only incoming prospects to join up.

According to TMZ Sports, Puma was a "major contender" to land No. 1 overall draft pick Zion Williamson. Williamson instead signed with Jordan Brand.

Zion Williamson @Zionwilliamson

Let’s Dance #JUMPMAN https://t.co/Ra0mq4OwYQ

DePaula reported "multiple competitor brands had offered the rookie sensation more than $10 million annually in their negotiations" but didn't disclose which companies made a formal offer.

Barrett averaged 22.6 points and 4.3 assists in his only season at Duke. The Knicks selected him with the third overall pick in the 2019 draft.

The 19-year-old didn't have a great introduction into the league, averaging 14.5 points and 8.6 rebounds but shooting 33.8 percent from the field in five summer league appearances.