Kawhi Leonard signs multi-year deal with New Balance

Miami Heat v Toronto Raptors

Kawhi Leonard just agreed to a multi-year shoe endorsement with the most predictable company that anyone can imagine him partnering with. Known for his expressionless face and somber demeanor, Leonard is at the opposite end of the spectrum when compared to other signature athletes like Jordan Brand's Russell Westbrook, Adidas' James Harden, or Under Armour's Steph Curry.

New Balance has not had as big a footprint in basketball - let alone the NBA - as Nike, but is reportedly looking to "re-establish itself in the basketball market". Thus far, the only other basketball player to join New Balance's roster is 2019 NBA prospect Darius Bazley, who is now making $1 million as an intern with the company.

Leonard had an endorsement deal with Jordan Brand for the better part of his career, but his contract with the company ended on October 1, months after he turned down a $22 million extension in the spring while still with San Antonio.

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The deal comes after the two-time NBA Defensive Player of the Years's contract with Nike's Jordan brand expired on October 31 after stalled contract talks.

Kawhi Leonard might have experience brushing off critics of his play on the court, but he might be breaking new ground on this latest with his latest major career move.

Since he's not known for his personality, it makes complete sense for the Toronto Raptors star, who is now an early MVP candidate while averaging 24.3 points and 8.6 rebounds per game, to ink a deal with one of the most bland shoe companies out there.

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The per-year figure would place Leonard among the top-15 annual shoe deal earners in the National Basketball Association.

The Raptors (18-4) now have the best record in the National Basketball Association. New Balance's limited footwear range for the 2018-19 season concerned some players.

It has been reported that Leonard wanted to leave Jordan due to being disappointed with their offer of $5 million a year, in addition to the brand's refusal to give him a signature shoe line.

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