Nike added two new athletes to its brand Monday, signing Minnesota Timberwolves forward Karl-Anthony Towns and Los Angeles Lakers guard D’Angelo Russell.
Towns was the first overall pick by the Timberwolves in this year’s draft and will become one of the centerpieces of a young core that also includes last year’s Rookie of the Year, Andrew Wiggins, exciting point guard Ricky Rubio and shooting guard Zach LaVine. His athleticism could make him one of the more entertaining big men to watch in theNBA in the coming years.
Russell may be the most marketable rookie, at least initially, in the entire 2015 class. He plays for one of the premier franchises in the NBA, for one thing, even if the Lakers have fallen on hard times. And his perimeter shooting and pinpoint, highlight-reel passing perfectly align with the current trend of the NBA that favors guard play and three-point shooting, with Steph Curry and James Harden emerging as two of the league’s biggest stars this past season beside LeBron James.
Both of these signings are excellent for the Nike brand as it tries to align itself with the next generation of stars. Towns and Russell look as though they’ll be two of the most exciting players from the 2015 class.