When Gordon Hayward can start meeting with sneaker companies about his next endorsement deal in August, expect New Balance to make a strong push for the All-Star, according to Nick DePaula of ESPN.com.
The Celtics forward has spent the bulk of his career playing in Nike shoes, but he has the chance to join a new brand before this upcoming season.
New Balance, which has its headquarters in Boston, partnered with the Celtics on their new practice facility recently as part of the company's attempt to gain more traction in the basketball world. Currently, the shoe company does not have a section on its website for basketball sneakers.
In addition to New Balance, the Chinese brand Anta could also make an attempt to sign Hayward, according to DePaula. Anta already has Klay Thompson on its roster and signed Kevin Garnett and Rajon Rondo after Boston won the NBA championship in 2008. Hayward also already has a connection to China, as he was endorsed by Peak, a Chinese sneaker brand, during his second season.
Hayward is entering his ninth season in the league and coming off a devastating leg injury that ended his 2017-18 campaign less than six minutes in. The former Butler star averaged 21.9 points, 5.4 rebounds and 3.5 assists in 2016-17, his last full season, and the same season he earned his one career All-Star nod.