The Celtics have a lot of exciting players that capture the attention of fans worldwide. Many companies have capitalized on their star power with endorsement deals. Here we will focus on deals between Celtics players and athletic apparel companies like Adidas and Nike.
As of writing this article, six Celtics players currently have deals. But there are also a couple of players who could cash in on or get a new endorsement deal in the very near future.
Celtics rookie Grant Williams appears to be delaying his endorsement decision as he adjusts to NBA life. But at the same time, he appears to at least be giving it some thought.
“It’s all about the fit but also understanding what I value,” Grant Williams said. “I haven’t been able to discuss it as much recently because I’ve been doing the Rookie Transition Program and have been preparing to move to Boston. Over time, I’ll be able to go through it and decide who I want to go with. As of right now, I haven’t really been too focused on it.”Grant Williams talking to reporters during press conference in early August
As to who Grant will eventually choose, it appears Nike is the front runner. He mostly wore Nike shoes during the Summer League and Jordan’s, which is a part of Nike, in his Rookie photoshoot. While a deal would heavily benefit Williams, he is wisely choosing to not rush into a decision.
Marcus Smart has earned the respect of many due to his defensive prowess, even with his occasional flopping. While he doesn’t always start, even the casual fan recognizes how impactful he is on the game. He can lock down a star player and steal the ball before then making a transition three. Also yes, I know he still has an endorsement deal with Adidas.
But he falls under the potential deal category as he appears to be nearing a different partnership, potentially with Puma, as he was seen sporting Puma brand shoes on occasion during his stint with the USA basketball team. When asked about a future deal, Smart simply stated: “I plead the 5th.” One way or another he will have a new deal soon, whether with Nike or some other brand.
Many athletes have joined Team Adidas. Both Terry Rozier and Guerschon Yabusele played for the Celtics while being endorsed by Adidas. Of course, Rozier lost his endorsement deal after wearing Nike shoes during a shootaround, and Yabusele isn’t on the team anymore. That leaves two Celtics players with Adidas endorsements, not including Smart.
The unfortunately inconsistent SG for the Celtics, Brown will look to have his best season yet as his role improves. He signed a deal with Adidas before playing a single minute of NBA basketball in 2016. Even without an agent, Brown was able to negotiate a deal granting him reportedly over $1 million per year.
He appears to enjoy wearing Harden Vol. 3’s, but has also been seen flaunting Pro Bounce Lows. When his current deal ends, odds are he continues his career with Adidas.
Unlike Williams, Carsen Edwards did not wait long before signing an endorsement deal. After an electrifying Summer league run, the Celtics guaranteed his contract and he also received a deal from Adidas. He immediately jumped on the deal, joining the young group of Adidas endorsements.
Ja Morant praised Edwards after the deal, saying “you deserve it my boy.” He was joined by former Celtics guard Nate Robinson, who said: “Bro you my favorite PG out the young’ns.” Edwards looks to have a role similar to that of Rozier’s from last year and could become an important factor in the Celtics bench unit.
Many are under the Jordan brand, as the subdivision of Nike reigns supreme among basketball apparel companies. Therefore it is no surprise that the two best Celtics players are under Jordan endorsement.
Jayson Tatum has been a key part of a young Celtics team, and Jordan gave him a show of faith this summer with an endorsement deal. He has slowly worked his way up the league as one of the best rising stars. But before that, Tatum had displayed Nike shoes when playing over the past two seasons.
Last year, Tatum showcased the PG2 colorway at the start of the season, before showing off the Adapt BB. So it will be a change of tune as he turns his attention away from the parent company and towards Jordan. As he looks to finally make the jump into stardom, it will be in Jordan shoes.
Kemba Walker will take the floor alongside fellow member of the Jordan brand in Tatum this season. He signed with Under Armour after getting drafted in 2011, but then switched to Jordan brand in 2015, due in part to the owner of the team being Michael Jordan.
Most recently he has begun to wear Air Jordan Retro X shoes. But now that he has moved to the Celtics, he could possibly switch things up. Maybe when his contract ends with Jordan, he could jump back to Under Armour. Maybe even Boston-based New Balance, which has started to get into the endorsement game after signing on Kawhi Leonard in 2018. To put aside the speculation, Kemba is most likely to stay with Jordan, as he has no reason to leave.
The last company that has ties to a Celtics player is Anta, a company based out of Fujian, China. Klay Thompson and Rajon Rondo are the most notable NBA players with Anta endorsements, as well as our own Gordon Hayward.
In October 2018, Gordon Hayward signed with the Chinese sneaker brand Anta. He is the only Celtics player known to have a signature shoe dropping soon, named the GH1. His deal was a bit of a surprise, as Hayward was actually linked to a deal with New Balance. For the start of this season, Hayward plans on wearing the signature shoe of Klay Thompson.
Before Anta, Hayward wore the signature shoes of his hero, Kobe Bryant. But in his first short-lived season with the Celtics, the former All-Star suffered his gruesome ankle injury in the Nike Hyperdunk 2017. This may have influenced his choice of going with Anta, as he lost trust in the brand. This year he looks to finally make his return to stardom as a starter when the Celtics play in a small-ball lineup.