C.J. McCollum is one of the game's most underrated stars, and though he's likely to be squeezed out of All-Star festivities in a packed Western Conference this season, he still has one decisive edge over many of his contemporaries: He's now one of the faces of an international sneaker company.
The Blazers shooting guard announced Friday he signed a multi-year contract with Chinese sports apparel manufacturer Li-Ning.
Details of the deal aren't known, and it remains unclear whether McCollum is in line for a signature shoe.
Li-Ning has made a name for itself by signing veteran NBAers away from more prominent brands, but those signees have rarely boasted McCollum's combination of youth and prominence.
Dwyane Wade has been the face of the company since leaving Jordan Brand in 2012, but it's clear his best years are behind him as he approaches his 36th birthday. Fellow Blazers wing Evan Turner, Cavaliers guard Jose Calderon, and Pacers wing Glenn Robinson III are also Li-Ning endorsers.
"I think we're still figuring out the next steps and some of the phases, but I'll definitely be one of the main faces, one of the main fixtures of the brand," McCollum told Portland Trail Blazers reporter Casey Holdahl. "I think obviously they have a guy like Dwyane Wade who is a superstar, who's a Hall of Famer and done wonders for the brand, and I'll continue to help out any way that I can."