LaMelo Ball is already making some big moves ahead of what will be a pivotal summer in his basketball career. After spending a year playing in Australia, the 19-year-old is one of the most exciting picks available in the NBA 2020 Draft with many tipping him to be signed by the Golden State Warriors. Before making the big move, LaMelo Ball has upped his fashion game, having officially signed for Puma at the expense of his father’s Big Baller Brand.
Puma on Wednesday announced that LaMelo Ball had officially signed with the sportswear brand, in a move that sent few shock waves among basketball fans. Puma and Ball had been negotiating a deal since August if reports are to be believed and presents a sizeable acquisition by the brand. The LaMelo Ball shoe deal will mean that the 19-year-old will not be promoting the Big Baller Brand, a company launched by his father. The potential No.1 draft pick had his own shoe at the age of 16 after his father LaVar founded the Big Ball Brand after the success of Lonzo Ball thrust the family into limelight.
The LaMelo Ball shoe deal with Puma represents the sportswear brand's aggressive approach in trying to make a name for itself in the basketball market, having signed the likes of 2018 first overall NBA draft pick Deandre Ayton and NBA All-Star DeMarcus Cousins. Reports suggest that Puma could also sign the 19-year-old's brother Lonzo, who recently switched agent representation and is yet to sign for a sneaker brand. The company also has ties with RJ Barrett of the New York Knicks; Denver Nuggets forward and bubble standout Michael Porter Jr.; Los Angeles Lakers forward Kyle Kuzma.
According to ESPN, the LaMelo Ball shoe deal's first product is likely to be launched on November 18, coinciding with the NBA Draft 2020. The 19-year-old played for 12 games in Australia to vault into the No. 1 draft pick equation last fall. The 6ft-7 point guard's passing ability, court vision and a pull-up jumper offers teams an exciting option in the upcoming draft. Ball is expected to be a top-five pick and potential No. 1, with Yahoo Sports’ Krysten Peek's mock draft suggesting that the 19-year-old will be picked up by the Golden State Warriors.