Bronny James, the 55th pick in the 2024 NBA Draft, is set to sign a multi-year guaranteed contract with the Los Angeles Lakers, according to Shams Charania of The Athletic. This deal ensures that James will be a solidified player on the roster for the 2024-25 season, playing alongside his father, LeBron James. Typically, second-round picks do not receive guaranteed contracts and must prove themselves during the NBA Summer League and team training camps to secure even a two-way contract.

However, James’ agent, Rich Paul, has made it clear that Bronny would not accept a two-way contract. “Yes, that’s absolutely true,” Paul stated in an interview with Bleacher Report’s Chris Haynes. “Teams know that. I’m not doing that.”

While it is unusual for second-round picks to receive guaranteed contracts, it is not unprecedented. In the previous year’s draft, Jalen Pickett, selected 32nd by the Denver Nuggets, signed a four-year, $8.2 million contract with $5.8 million guaranteed. Similarly, Chris Livingston, the last pick in the second round, secured a four-year, $7.6 million deal with the Milwaukee Bucks, including $3 million guaranteed. Notably, Paul was also Livingston’s agent, highlighting his influence in NBA negotiations.

During his introductory press conference on Tuesday, Bronny spoke about joining the Lakers and the prospect of playing with his father. “Everything has been so surreal. Just trying to take it all in by the days,” he expressed. “Extremely grateful for everything that JJ [Redick] and Rob [Pelinka] have given to me. I’ve just been extremely excited to get to work”, told The New York Times.

He added that playing with his father was not a primary focus. “I never really had a thought of me going to play with my dad, but that’s always there to take part of. It wasn’t a main focus of mine.”

Bronny’s journey to the NBA has been under intense scrutiny, partly due to his famous father and doubts about his own talent. Now as LeBron’s teammate on a title-contending team, he acknowledges the increased pressure. “For sure an amplified amount of pressure. I’ve already seen it on social media and stuff on the internet, talking about how I might not deserve an opportunity,” Bronny said. “But I’ve been dealing with stuff like this my whole life. It’s nothing different. It’s more amplified for sure, but I can get through it.”

New Lakers coach JJ Redick emphasized that Bronny earned his spot. “Rob and I did not give Bronny anything,” Redick stated. “Bronny has earned this. Bronny, who talks about his hard work. Bronny has earned this through hard work. For us, prioritizing player development, we view Bronny as like case study one. His base level of feel, athleticism, point of attack defender, shooting, passing; there’s a lot to like about his game.”

Bronny’s freshman year at the University of Southern California was modest statistically, averaging 4.8 points, 2.8 rebounds, and 2.1 assists per game, via Daily Mail. He believes the cardiac arrest he suffered last summer impacted his development. “The time that I had off, I feel like I could’ve been perfecting my game more,” he said. “I just feel like I’ve been given the opportunity to show what I can really do because I wasn’t given that much of an opportunity at [USC]. So I’m excited for what is to come.”

Despite his modest college stats, Bronny is eager to develop with the Lakers and potentially earn significant minutes early on. He will also have the unique opportunity to make history as part of the first father-son duo to play together in the NBA. “Just having that work ethic and coming in and getting your work in and listening to your coaches and being coachable,” Bronny said. “Stuff like that he’s driven into my head my whole life.”



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