The NBA draft is projected to be the most highly-anticipated event of the year. With a lot of money and fame on the line, it’s easy to see why players would jump at the chance to sign with Nike.
The number 1 draft picks nba 2021 is a project that has been in the works for a while. Cade Cunningham, the projected number one pick in the NBA Draft, has signed a multiyear endorsement deal with Nike.
10:30 a.m. ET
ESPN’s Nick DePaula
Cade Cunningham, the anticipated first overall selection in the 2021 NBA draft, has inked a multiyear footwear and clothing endorsement agreement with Nike.
After a COVID-19-affected market left the majority of last season’s rookies without a shoe contract for the 2020-21 season, companies are now aggressively signing top players ahead of this week’s draft. Cunningham, who played for Nike-sponsored Oklahoma State University and has a lengthy history with the company, was a target for Nike.
Cunningham told ESPN, “More than anything, they demonstrate that athletes are more than just athletes.” “They really sent the correct message to the public. That was crucial to me… I thought it was a great match for me.”
Cunningham, a 6-foot-8 point guard who was named Big 12 Player of the Year and a consensus All-American in his lone rookie season, is aiming to develop his marketing image early on with Nike.
“As soon as a Nike ad comes on, we all know what it’s about,” he remarked. “I care about those things, and I’d want to be connected with a brand like that.”
Cunningham has reportedly earned the highest-value shoe contract of his draft class, according to industry insiders. Excel Sports Management arranged the agreement.
He also put Puma, Li-Ning, Converse, and Adidas shoes through their paces during pre-draft exercises. Cunningham will help spearhead Nike’s new “Greater Than” line during his rookie season, wearing player-exclusive versions of models including the GT Cut, GT Run, and GT Jump.
Cunningham has also signed endorsement agreements in the plant-based food, energy drink, cryptocurrency, trading card, memorabilia, and photo-sharing-app categories, which will be revealed in the coming weeks.
“I have certainly given it some consideration. I’m not simply playing basketball for the sake of it any more “he said “It’s now a business, and that’s a good thing. I’m glad I’ve progressed to the point where I can earn a living doing what I’m doing. When it comes to marketing myself, I want to be really honest about who I am. I’m not interested in marketing agreements that don’t align with who I am.”
Nike is the official league outfitter for roughly 68 percent of NBA players and is in the middle of a $1 billion, eight-year collaboration deal. With an extensive current roster of players and a lineup of five signature shoes for the likes of LeBron James, Kevin Durant, Giannis Antetokounmpo, Paul George, and Kyrie Irving, the deal signals a commitment to continue signing top prospects and possible future faces of the league.
Cunningham has only worked out for and visited with the Detroit Pistons so far, and the 19-year-old is anticipated to be selected with the first overall selection once the draft begins on Thursday (ABC, 8 p.m. ET).
“They’re a fantastic company with a lot of positive attributes. I believe they are in the process of restoration. They aren’t rebuilding, in my opinion “After his visit, Cunningham spoke to the local Detroit media. “All they’re trying to do is repair what they’ve got.”
Cunningham, a scoring floor general, has already received comparisons from Pistons GM Troy Weaver to Hall of Famer Grant Hill, which he described as “an honor for sure” and “extra motivation.” Cunningham averaged 20 points per game as a freshman, shooting 44 percent from the field and 40 percent from three-point range. Cunningham will join a youthful core that includes Jerami Grant and Saddiq Bey as fundamental components for the Pistons.
“There’s a case to be made that Cunningham is the third-best top pick we’ve seen in the last decade,” ESPN draft expert Mike Schmitz said. “That would lead me to predict him as an All-Star in his first two or three years in the NBA and a lifelong All-NBA kind of player.”
Cunningham is enjoying everything that comes with being a possible top selection going into this week’s draft, despite the comparisons, predictions, and expectations that have been placed on him before he has even played in an official NBA game.
He remarked, “It’s something I’ve been looking forward to my whole life.” “I’m not going to make any predictions or put any unrealistic expectations on anything. I’m going in with an open mind, and I’m confident in the work I’ve put in to be ready for this. When I hear my name called, I’ll simply be grateful to be in that situation and eager to see what happens next.”
Frequently Asked Questions
What brand did Cade Cunningham sign with?
Cade Cunningham signed with the Atlanta Hawks.
Did Cade Cunningham sign with Nike?
Yes, Cade Cunningham signed with Nike.
What shoe does Cade Cunningham wear?
Cade Cunningham is a professional American football player for the Dallas Cowboys. He wears Nike cleats.
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