The sneaker landscape is changing in the NBA, with shoe companies looking to sign rookies to long-term deals in hope of them becoming popular in the future. This change has allowed younger players to show off their shoe style and help grow the brands that endorsed them. Several rookies have already signed shoe deals this season, but Celtics’ rookie Payton Pritchard is the latest to do so.
After being drafted by the Boston Celtics in the first round of the 2020 NBA Draft, Payton Pritchard has wasted no time getting accustomed to his new life. On April 27th, Pritchard officially signed an endorsement deal with Nike, via ESPN’s Nick DePaula.
Payton Pritchard: College Career
Pritchard attended High School in West Linn, Oregon before playing four years of college basketball at the University of Oregon. Over his four seasons with the Ducks, Pritchard averaged 13.5 points, 4.6 assists, and 3.8 rebounds as the primary ball-handler.
As a senior, Pritchard poured in 20.5 points per game and shot 42 percent from three. That season, he earned the Pac 12 Player of the Year Award, the Bob Cousy Award, and was a finalist for the Wooden Award.
Payton Pritchard: Rookie Season
After an exceptional college career for Oregon, Pritchard declared for the NBA Draft, where he was selected 26th overall by the Boston Celtics. Injuries to the Celtics’ starting guards Kemba Walker and Marcus Smart early in the season resulted in Pritchard having an immediate impact in the NBA.
Over 57 games played, Pritchard is averaging 7.7 points while shooting 42 percent from beyond the arc and 90 percent from the free-throw line. Just a few days ago, Pritchard knotted a career-high with 28 points against the Oklahoma City Thunder. He’s looking to be one of the biggest steals from this past draft and has proved to be a strong contributor to the Celtics in only his rookie season.
Payton Pritchard: Nike Endorsement
Pritchard, who signed an endorsement deal with Nike on Tuesday, has worn Oregon-styled Nike shoes in nearly every game this season. The Celtics’ rookie will now be able to advertise Nike shoes in games and make some profit in return. Pritchard will continue wearing shoes with the Oregon Ducks’ logo and colors, and may even design his own custom Oregon sneakers.
At 23 years old, Pritchard has already made huge strides in the NBA. Aside from playing important minutes for the Celtics, Pritchard joins Tyrese Haliburton, Lamelo Ball, Anthony Edwards, Aaron Nesmith, and Onyeke Okungwu as rookies to sign shoe deals this season.
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