EVERY YEAR, the NBA Rookie Draft is a rite of passage wherein the 30 teams look to infuse fresh talent on their rosters. Recently, adidas was able to secure the endorsement of five of the top 2016 Draft selections thus bolstering its stable of talents that will carry the three stripes into the next decade.
Heading the list is second overall pick forward Brandon Ingram of the Los Angeles Lakers out of Duke University. He is joined by third pick forward Jaylen Brown of the Lakers’ bitter archrival Boston Celtics by way of the University of California, fourth pick forward Dragan Bender of the Phoenix Suns from Bosnia-Herzegovina and Israeli club Maccabi Tel Aviv, fifth pick guard Kris Dunn of the Minnesota Timberwolves from Providence University and seventh pick guard Jamal Murray of the Denver Nuggets from Canada and the University of Kentucky.
The big plus about this group is that they are all teenagers save for Dunn who is the “eldest” at 22 years of age. The presence of international players Bender and Murray should add to the brand’s global appeal.
This early, the quintet has been compared to some of the NBA’s superstars. Ingram and Brown could be the catalysts to reinvigorate the storied Lakers-Celtics rivalry while Bender, Dunn and Murray are vital pieces for their respective clubs to challenge the established contenders as they search for their first NBA championship.
With the association’s aging superstars retiring one after the other, these five young ballers are expected to carry the mantle for their respective franchises. They join the ever growing adidas family that counts All-Stars Derrick Rose of the New York Knicks, James Harden of the Houston Rockets and recent Manila visitor Damian Lillard of the Portland Trailblazers.
A good rookie season could be the springboard for any of them to be rewarded with a signature shoe and apparel line. Let’s wait and see until the new NBA season tips off in October.