Boston Celtics: Payton Pritchard’s star grows with Nike deal

Boston Celtics Mandatory Credit: Brian Fluharty-USA TODAY Sports
Boston Celtics Mandatory Credit: Brian Fluharty-USA TODAY Sports /

Usually, late first-round picks in the NBA Draft don’t get sneaker contracts during the rookie year. Boston Celtics rookie Payton Pritchard is different, though.

As the former Oregon Duck continues to pour it in for the Cs during a pivotal final stretch run that could determine their potential path to the NBA Finals (or, in a doomsday scenario, the draft lottery), Nike decided it couldn’t let him be a free agent on the sneaker endorsement trail any longer.

Following one of his finest performances to date against the Brooklyn Nets that saw him record his second-highest game score of the season (23 points, three rebounds, two assists, a block, no turnovers) the sneaker giant signed the point guard to a deal.

ESPN’s resident sneaker expert Nick DePaula reported the union via his verified Twitter page:

With Pritchard now signed to a deal, the Cs now have five players in tow with shoe deals. Jayson Tatum, Jaylen Brown, Kemba Walker, Marcus Smart…and you could now add Pritchard to the list.

Boston Celtics fans should be happy about this for a few reasons. The first is, well, there’s another home team-certified option for their feet now available. The second is the possible effect on Pritchard’s game.

Given the reported no-holds-barred nature of NBA trash talk, Pritchard just added something to flex on other rookies with as he now belongs in a fairly exclusive club of professionals with endorsement deals.

The most profound effect of this deal, though, will be getting Pritchard’s name out there. Now, Oregon has two 2020-21 rookies with Nike in their corner. While Pritchard may not reach Sabrina Ionescu levels of fame, his reach just grew exponentially in an increasingly-obsessive sneaker society we live in.

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