After making a splash leading into the NBA draft by signing several of this year's top rookies, Puma has signed its first established All-Star and All-NBA talent: Golden State Warriors center DeMarcus Cousins.
A four-time All-Star, Cousins signed a multiyear Puma offer sheet Thursday, sources told ESPN. His previous brand, Nike, will have 10 business days to match the multimillion-dollar contract because of its standard "match clause" rights on all expiring shoe deals.
Adding Cousins would provide Puma with a major-market star who plays for one of the league's most dominant teams.
The timing is also ideal -- adding Cousins a week before the start of the season lines up with Puma's Oct. 11 global launch date for its first basketball shoe in nearly 20 years, the Puma Clyde Court Disrupt.
Once Cousins, 28, returns to action later this season for his debut with the Warriors, he's expected to wear the Clyde Court and also headline Puma's upcoming new basketball model for spring 2019. Unlike most players around the league, Cousins actually owns the rights to his logo, which has been featured on footwear, and will be able to transition the "DMC" badge onto his Puma shoes if he wants.
Puma's aggressive re-entry into the NBA began earlier this year when it signed top draft picks Deandre Ayton and Marvin Bagley III in the days leading up to the June draft. Shortly after, the resurgent basketball category also signed promising rookies Kevin Knox, Michael Porter Jr. and Zhaire Smith, taken with the Nos. 9, 14 and 16 selections. Puma has since also added veteran players Terry Rozier and Rudy Gay to its list of endorsers.