Lakers Agree to Overpay Bronny James Just Hours After Dad Strikes Big Deal

Reuters/Kirby Lee
Reuters/Kirby Lee

Bronny James landed a massive deal with the Los Angeles Lakers on Wednesday, signing a four-year contract worth a whopping $7.9 million—a figure that seems to overvalue him relative to his draft position.

The shiny new contract for James, 19, was announced just hours after the Lakers revealed they’d struck a deal with his superstar dad, 39-year-old LeBron James, that will see him make the league maximum salary of $104 million this season.

While the James family is sure to be celebrating Wednesday night, it’s impossible to ignore that the younger James’ payday likely has everything to do with his dad’s stardom and not his own basketball resume.

Bronny was selected at No. 55 overall in last week’s draft. That’s significantly higher than most had the starlet going, with his limited basketball résumé—having not played a full NCAA season and coming off the bench when he did feature—holding him back in the eyes of most.

Bronny James to Link Up With Dad at Lakers After Draft Night Shocker

Now, the younger James is slated to make $1.1 million this season, $1.9 million the next, and $2.3 million and $2.4 million in the final two years of his contract, with the first three years being guaranteed money. That’s a stark contrast to NBA rookies drafted with the same pick in recent years.

Last year’s No. 55 pick, Isaiah Wong, struck a one-year, two-way deal with the Indiana Pacers that’d net him, at most, just under $600,000. The same pick in 2022 was Gui Santos, who struck a three-year deal with the Golden State Warriors worth up to $5.1 million, but only a fifth of that money was guaranteed.

Still, even those outside the NBA orbit know that Bronny is far from a typical second-round pick. He’ll ensure his dad gets to fulfill his longtime dream of playing in the league with him, and Wednesday’s deals essentially confirm they’ll soon become the first father-son duo to play in the NBA simultaneously.

LeBron, who is arguably the greatest player in history, became the first person to make 20 All-Star teams last season, eclipsing Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. He also holds the NBA record for career regular season points (40,474), while his 20 All-NBA selections and 13 first-team All-NBA selections are also unmatched in the sport. He’ll turn 40 in December.

“It’s for sure amplified the amount of pressure,” Bronny James said Tuesday of playing with his dad. “I’ve already seen it in (social) media and on the internet and stuff talking about (how) I might not deserve an opportunity. But I’ve been dealing with stuff like this for my whole life. It’s nothing different. It’s more amplified for sure, but I can get through it.”

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