Toronto Raptors' star forward Kawhi Leonard is reportedly no longer a sneaker free agent.
Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports reported that Leonard has "agreed to a multi-year endorsement deal" with New Balance.
New Balance has made it known that they intend to try and enter the basketball market and it's apparent they'll use Kawhi as the face of their revamp. Leonard turned down an extension with Jordan Brand earlier this year, becoming a sneaker free agent.
New Balance's only other move so far in entering the basketball market came this summer when they hired the No. 13 ESPN Class of 2018 Top 100 recruit Darius Bazley as an intern under a one million dollar stipend. Bazley had decommitted from Syracuse to workout and prepare for the 2019 NBA Draft and New Balance jumped on the opportunity to endorse him as their first order of business in their return.
After leading the Raptors to an Eastern Conference-best 18-4 start averaging 24.3 points, 8.6 rebounds, 3.1 assists and 1.8 steals per game, it's clear Leonard has received the offer he was looking for in a shoe deal.
UPDATE: Per Tim Bontemps of ESPN, Kawhi Leonard has stated "it's not official yet" and that "me and New Balance have not announced anything."
Kawhi Leonard, who showed up to his interview at Toronto's practice facility today in socks, said he hasn't agreed to a deal with New Balance yet. "It's not official," Leonard said. "Me and New Balance haven't announced anything."- Tim Bontemps (@TimBontemps) November 28, 2018