Toronto Raptors forward Kawhi Leonard has agreed to a multi-year endorsement deal with New Balance, according to Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports.
New Balance is looking to "re-establish itself in the basketball market" by having Leonard as the face of the brand, reports Haynes.
Leonard, 27, previously had a shoe deal with Jordan Brand but left the company in October. The two-time NBA defensive player of the year turned down a four-year, $22 million extension with Jordan Brand in March and become a free agent in the shoe market when his deal expired.
Projected future NBA star Darius Bazley, 18, will intern at New Balance this winter after signing a multiyear, $1 million deal with the brand. In March, Bazley decommitted from Syracuse to prepare for the 2019 NBA draft. He then signed with agent Rich Paul, who arranged the internship. Bazley is guaranteed the contract money "no matter what happens" in his NBA career but could earn up to $14 million under performance incentives, per The New York Times
The Raptors (18–4) currently have the best record in the NBA. Leonard has put together a strong MVP campaign so far this season by averaging 24.3 points, 8.6 rebounds and 3.1 assists per game.