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NBA Draft Getting Stronger For Teams, Marketers

NBA 2009 draft day T-shirt from adidas.April 24, 2009: Add Stephen Curry to the list of undergrads throwing their name in the 2009 NBA draft, which has taken on a new look thanks to Blake Griffin, James Harden, Hasheem Thabeet and others who decided to come out early. Meaning more prime targets for the likes of Nike, adidas, Gatorade, McDonald's and others to aim for. Griffin, the 6'10, 250-lb. PF out of Oklahoma who has signed with Excel Sports Management, New York/Los Angeles, is the consensus No. 1 for the NBA draft, to be held June 25, and likely will be the first to sign with a shoe company. Right behind him regarding endorsement Curry, the high-profile 6'3" sophomore out of Davidson. He led the nation in scoring this past season and sees himself going "anywhere from No. 7 to No. 20 [in the draft], but workouts I do in the next month could move me up and improve my stock," he said during his press conference announcement. Also adding to the draft's power, and prime endorsement players, are NCAA champion North Carolina juniors PG Ty Lawson and Wayne Ellington. Lawson was named the 2009 ACC Player of the Year and the winner of the Cousy Award as the nation's best point guard. Ellington was named the Most Outstanding Player of the 2009 Final Four. Among others, Scottie Reynolds 6'2" PG out of Villanouva, declared draft eligibility but will not hire an agent and could return for senior year. Similarly, Tennessee junior forward Tyler Smith has decided to see where he might rank, but has not hired an agent and could opt to return. Players have until June 15 to opt out an return to school if they have not hired an agent. Arkansas junior forward Michael Washington, 6'9", 239, has made himself available for the NBA draft, but without signing with an agent. Also look for endorsements for James Harden 6'4" 210 SG sophomore from Arizona State; Ricky Rubio 18 6'4" PG from Joventut in Barcelona, Spain, who already has endorsement deals with Nike and McDonald's; and Thabeet, the 7'3" 265 UConn junior who came out early. Back to Home Page

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