Ja Morant, the probable No 2 overall pick in next month’s NBA Draft, announced on Monday that he has signed with Nike.
All my life my parents worked for a check. Now I’m proud to say I work for the check. #Nike#NikeBasketball pic.twitter.com/b1mTTJLySr— Ja Morant (@igotgame_12) May 27, 2019
The former Murray State star point guard reportedly agreed to a multi-year endorsement deal.
Said Morant in a tweet: “All my life my parents worked for a check. Now I’m proud to say I work for the check. #Nike #NikeBasketball”
Morant is expected to be picked second in the draft behind former Duke star Zion Williamson. The New Orleans Pelicans have the first pick and the Memphis Grizzlies have the second selection.
Morant was largely an unknown quantity prior to the 2018-19 college basketball season but averaged 24.5 points and a nation-best 10.0 assists per game while leading Murray State to the second round of the NCAA Tournament.
Morant earned All-American status for his superb season, rising up the draft boards and becoming a big name.
“If I could take the fame away, I would,” Morant said. “I haven’t really thought about [the money]. I just want to play basketball at the highest level. It has been crazy. Coming from being under the radar to being one of the most talked about players now, it’s something I’m getting used to.”
Zion Williamson is going to sign the largest, or maybe second largest (behind LeBron James) rookie shoe deal in NBA history. The Duke star has to still pick an agent (there are a few groups in the running, but the buzz is that decision comes soon) but when he does the next step will be a staggering shoe deal.
Ja Morant isn’t going to make that kind of money, but he is going to be cashing checks from Nike. Morant announced he signed with the company via an Instagram post.
This is a multi-year, multiple millions of dollars deal, reports Nick de Paula of ESPN. Morant wore Nike’s in college at Murray State, putting on pairs of Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving signature shoes at different times.
Morant is incredibly athletic and has the potential to grow into an All-Star level point guard in the league, but he’s going to have to get a lot stronger, his jumper needs to be more consistent, and will need to improve his conditioning so he can start putting in effort on the defensive end. Morant is good, but he’s got work to do to thrive at the next level.
If he can live up to that potential, Nike will pay him a lot more money in future contracts. For now though, he is doing just fine.