Following his first All-Star selection in 2022, Cleveland Cavaliers point guard Darius Garland has quickly asserted himself as one of the best young players in the NBA – ranking eighth overall in ESPN’s ranking of the best NBA stars under 25 years of age. Spearheading a lethal backcourt in Cleveland alongside Donovan Mitchell, Garland has elected to swap out his Swoosh-sponsored footwear for New Balance’s this season, officially signing an endorsement deal with the Boston brand on Wednesday morning.
Nearly a month after being drafted fifth overall in the 2019 NBA Draft, Garland signed a multi-year deal with Nike. Routinely sporting Kyrie Irving’s signature series throughout the first four years of his career in the L, Garland’s future with the Swoosh was questioned at the start of the 2023-24 season where he was spotted wearing the New Balance TWO WXY V4 – the Boston Brand’s latest evolution in their marquee basketball tooling.
The typical NBA sneaker endorsement contract usually reaches its conclusion in the Fall season. As such, New Balance has been patiently surveying the crop of sneaker free agents over the past few seasons, taking advantage of the few players that fall through the cracks amidst draft class signees and long-term contract extension conversations over the summer. Garland is their latest addition to a burgeoning basketball banner that currently houses Kawhi Leonard, Tyrese Maxey, Zach LaVine, Jamal Murray, Cameron Brink and Dejounte Murray.
“It is a dream to become a part of the New Balance brand,” Garland said in a statement. “New Balance is a family brand and it felt that way from the first conversation. The brand’s commitment to individuality and their respect for athletes to be themselves is something I deeply respect.”
Throughout 17 games this season, the 23-year-old has stuck to the Team Bank and general release offerings of the New Balance TWO WXY V4. As Garland and the Boston brand’s relationship grows, personalized Player Exclusives are an inevitable outcome in the near future.