Nike has taken an early lead with the next crop of basketball talent coming into the NBA next season.

After signing projected number one overall pick Ben Simmons to an endorsement deal, the company has signed another top prospect, Oklahoma's Buddy Hield (reported by Nick DePaula, The Vertical). The contract includes footwear and apparel.

Hield, 22 years old, took off as a senior with the Sooners, demonstrating his scoring dominance with 25 points per game on 50 percent shooting, often catching fire from three-point land. He brought home the John R. Wooden Award and the Naismith Trophy for best college player, as well as the Big 12 Player of the Year award.

Getty Images
Getty Images

Nike isn't stopping here, of course. According to DePaula, over the next week Nike hopes to finalize several more shoe deals with players projected to be selected in the draft, which will be on June 23rd.

His sources stated that adidas is being more and more aggressive with top college talent these days, driving up how much money Nike has included in the deals for Hield and Simmons. It will be interesting to see where the rest of the 2016 class signs as draft day approaches.

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