Orlando Magic rookie Paolo Banchero has inked an endorsement deal with Jordan Brand, The Boardroom reported on Monday. News of the deal had been circulating since the summer, when The Athletic’s Shams Charania first broke the news.
The No. 1 overall pick would joins an impressive list of NBA stars signed to Jordan Brand, including Chris Paul, Luka Doncic, Jayson Tatum, Bam Adebayo, Zion Williamson, Bradley Beal, Russell Westbrook and Carmelo Anthony.
BREAKING: Paolo Banchero has officially signed a multi-year shoe deal with Jordan, set to make him a headliner of the Air Jordan 37.https://t.co/MFtk5k2PNq
— Boardroom (@boardroom) October 17, 2022
Per the Boardroom, Banchero had been in talks with Adidas, Jordan and Puma about an endorsement deal and he tried on a variety of shoes from each of those makers during his pre-Draft workouts. But the appeal of signing with Jordan Brand trumped the others for Banchero.
“It was exciting for me, just having all of the shoe companies become more and more interested,” he said, per the Boardroom. “When Jordan stepped in, that really kind of made me raise my eyebrows. They don’t try and sign everybody.”
He also said he has a plan when it comes to his new partnership with Jordan Brand.
“To elevate them as a brand and myself as a brand and a player,” Banchero said. “Come out with stuff and wear things that the people are going to love, fans are going to love and I’m going to love. Whatever direction it goes, just continue to build on it and make it the best that it can be.”
Banchero has played in the Air Jordan 36 and Zion 2 this summer. He played two games at the NBA Summer League in Las Vegas and didn’t disappoint, but Orlando shut him down at that point, not wanting to risk any injury and believing he’d gotten enough of a first taste of the NBA game to get him ready for camp.
The 19-year-old averaged 17.2 points, 7.8 rebounds, 3.2 assists, and 1.1 steals in his lone season at Duke and was named ACC Rookie of the Year.
Banchero averaged 20 points, six assists, and five rebounds over two games at Las Vegas Summer League. In the NBA App GM Survey, Banchero is the heavy favorite for Rookie of the Year, receiving 79% of the vote, the fourth highest rate in the history of the survey.
Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.