LeBron’s Dream Comes True: The Lakers’ Bold Move to Draft Bronny James

The Los Angeles Lakers made a surprising choice in the 2024 NBA Draft by picking Bronny James at the 55th spot. This decision, though unexpected to some, was driven by several compelling factors.

Bronny, the son of NBA legend LeBron James, has been a notable figure in basketball circles. His selection by the Lakers brings together potential, strategy, and a unique historical narrative.

Let’s explore why the Lakers made this choice, assess Bronny’s NBA readiness, and delve into his prospects, endorsements, and family background.

Key Points about Bronny James and His NBA Draft Journey

TopicDetails
Draft Position55th overall pick by the Los Angeles Lakers
Father-Son Duo PotentialLeBron James and Bronny playing together in the NBA
LeBron’s Influence and FutureDrafting Bronny may keep LeBron with the Lakers
Defensive PotentialKnown for defensive skills and 40.5-inch vertical leap
Developmental OpportunityLakers’ coaching staff excited to develop Bronny’s skills
Marketing and Media AttentionGenerates significant media buzz
Low-Risk, High-RewardLate draft pick with high potential
College PerformanceAveraged 4.8 points, 2.8 rebounds, and 2.1 assists per game at USC
NBA Readiness ConcernsNeeds more development; health concerns
Contract DetailsEstimated around $1.2 million per year
High School PerformanceBest season: 14.2 points, 5.5 rebounds, 2.4 assists per game in senior year
EndorsementsNike, Beats by Dre, PSD Underwear, Fast X
Net Worth in 2024Estimated around $5 million
Father’s BackgroundLeBron James, NBA superstar, aims to play with Bronny
FamilyParents: LeBron and Savannah James; Siblings: Bryce Maximus and Zhuri Nova
Basketball LegacyDeep family roots in basketball; both Bronny and Bryce aspire to follow in their father’s footsteps

Why Did the Lakers Draft Bronny James at the 55th Pick?

Father-Son Duo Potential

One of the coolest reasons behind this pick is the chance for LeBron James to play alongside his son, Bronny, in the NBA.

This has been a dream of LeBron’s and would be a first in the league. LeBron’s long career makes this possible, and the Lakers’ choice brings this dream closer.

“It’s always been a dream of mine to play with my son in the NBA. It’s something I want, and I think it would be special for the league and for our family.” – LeBron James, ESPN

LeBron’s Influence and Future

LeBron James has a $51 million player option for the upcoming season.

Drafting Bronny could influence LeBron’s decision to stay with the Lakers.

This smart move might help keep LeBron, benefiting the team both on and off the court.

Defensive Potential and Athleticism

Bronny is known for his defensive skills and athleticism, which are valuable for any team.

Despite his average college stats, his defensive talent and physical abilities, like a 40.5-inch vertical leap, were impressive enough for a draft pick.

Developmental Opportunity

The Lakers see potential in Bronny’s growth. They believe that with the right training and support, he can become a valuable player.

The coaching staff is excited about creating a development plan to boost his basketball skills.

Marketing and Media Attention

Drafting Bronny generates a lot of media buzz and fan interest, which can be good for the Lakers’ brand.

The attention around the father-son duo adds a unique story to the team.

“Drafting Bronny brings a new level of excitement and media attention to the Lakers. The story of a father-son duo in the NBA is something fans and media outlets can’t get enough of.” – Lakers GM, Bleacher Report

Low-Risk, High-Reward

As the 55th pick, the risk is relatively low. Historically, players picked this late rarely make a big impact in the NBA.

So, taking a chance on Bronny, given his potential and the added benefits of his father’s presence, is seen as a smart gamble.

In short, the Lakers’ decision to draft Bronny James is influenced by potential on-court benefits, strategic thoughts about LeBron’s future, and the unique historical and marketing opportunities of the father-son duo.

Is Bronny James Good Enough for the NBA?

Limited College Performance

At USC, Bronny averaged only 4.8 points, 2.8 rebounds, and 2.1 assists per game, shooting 36.6% from the field and 26.7% from 3-point range. These stats don’t really scream NBA-ready talent.

NBA Executive Opinions

An NBA general manager bluntly said, “Bronny is nowhere near ready” and suggested he should return to school to develop at his own pace. Many analysts agree his skills need more work.

Draft Projections

Bronny was unranked on ESPN’s 2024 draft board and was only projected as a second-round pick in the 2025 draft. His height, at 6’1.5″ without shoes, also worries some scouts.

Potential Over Production

While Bronny has shown flashes of athleticism and defensive potential, his overall production and shot-creation abilities have been underwhelming.

Many experts believe that without his famous last name, Bronny wouldn’t be on the 2024 draft radar.

Health Concerns

Bronny’s cardiac arrest during a USC game still lingers as a concern for some teams.

This incident has affected perceptions of his durability and long-term health prospects.

Positive Attributes

Despite these concerns, Bronny does have some positive points:

  • Athleticism: His 40.5-inch vertical at the NBA combine tied for the sixth-best mark.
  • Defensive Potential: Scouts note his ability to contribute in point-of-attack defense.
  • Passing Ability and Team-Oriented Play: These are considered strengths in his game.

Overall, while Bronny has some NBA-level attributes, most experts agree he’s not currently ready for the NBA based on his skills alone.

His draft status is likely to be heavily influenced by his connection to LeBron James rather than his individual readiness for the league.

“Bronny has shown flashes of brilliance, but he needs more time to develop his game. The NBA is a different beast, and he’s not there yet.” – Anonymous NBA Scout, Sports Illustrated

What Does Bronny James’ Scouting Report Say?

Strengths

  • Strong Frame and Athleticism: Bronny’s physical attributes are impressive.
  • Ability to Hit Deep Three-Pointers: When open, he can knock down deep shots.
  • Fundamentally Sound Basketball IQ: His understanding of the game is solid.
  • Engaged and Physical On-Ball Defender: His defensive effort is notable.
  • Creates Steals as an Off-Ball Defender: Bronny has a knack for intercepting passes.
  • Excels in Team Defensive Settings: His team defense contributions are valuable.
  • Built to Withstand Physical Play: Bronny’s build allows him to handle physicality.

Weaknesses

  • Offensive Game is Behind Schedule: For his age and draft position, his offensive skills need improvement.
  • Limited Passing Ability: His lack of length affects his passing.
  • Difficulty Creating Shots for Himself: He struggles to generate his own scoring opportunities.
  • Inconsistent Scoring: Particularly from three-point range.
  • Not a Top Player on His College Team: He wasn’t a standout at USC.
  • Three-Star Recruit Without His Name: His draft prospects are bolstered by his family name.

The scouting report suggests Bronny’s best attributes are his defensive skills and physical traits.

However, his offensive game needs a lot of work. An NBA scout compared him to Austin Rivers, saying he’s “solid, not spectacular” and knows how to play.

The report also indicates his draft prospects may be more about his connection to LeBron James than his current abilities.

Also Read: 10 Key Facts About JJ Redick’s New Role as Lakers’ Head Coach

What Are the Prospects for Bronny James in the 2024 NBA Draft?

Draft Position

Bronny James was picked 55th overall by the Los Angeles Lakers in the 2024 NBA Draft.

This late second-round selection matches pre-draft projections that had him as a second-round pick.

Team Fit

The Lakers drafting Bronny creates the potential for the first father-son duo to play together in NBA history, as LeBron James has said he wants to play alongside his son.

Skills Assessment

Bronny’s strongest points are his defensive abilities and athleticism.

He’s known for his shooting skills and defensive instincts, though he’s considered short for the NBA at 6-foot-2.

College Performance

His freshman year at USC was underwhelming statistically, averaging only 4.8 points, 2.8 rebounds, and 2.1 assists per game while shooting 36.6% from the field and 26.7% from 3-point range.

NBA Readiness

There are worries about Bronny’s readiness for the NBA. An NBA general manager said, “Bronny is nowhere near ready” and suggested he should have returned to school to develop at his own pace.

Potential Role

Bronny is expected to be a 3-and-D player in the NBA, with comparisons to players like De’Anthony Melton. His defensive skills have also drawn comparisons to Patrick Beverley and Jrue Holiday.

Development Path

Given his limited college experience and current skill level, Bronny may need to develop further in the G League.

Name Factor

Many experts believe that without his famous last name, Bronny wouldn’t have been on the 2024 draft radar.

Overall, while Bronny James has been drafted, his immediate impact in the NBA is expected to be limited. His success will likely depend on his ability to develop his skills, especially his offensive game, and find a role for himself in the league.

What Is Bronny James’ Contract with the Lakers?

The specific details of Bronny James’ contract with the Los Angeles Lakers haven’t been officially announced yet.

But we can guess some likely parts of his contract based on typical terms for second-round picks.

Contract Details

  • Not Subject to Rookie Wage Scale: As a second-round pick, Bronny’s contract isn’t bound by the rookie wage scale for first-round picks.
  • Guaranteed Money: Second-round picks usually get contracts with little or no guaranteed money, but Bronny’s agent, Rich Paul, said he won’t sign a two-way contract.
  • Salary Floor: The salary floor for a rookie on an NBA active roster is about $1.2 million per year.
  • Comparative Contracts: The 32nd pick in the 2023 draft signed a four-year, $8.2 million deal with $5.8 million guaranteed, while the last pick of the second round in 2023 signed a four-year, $7.6 million contract with $3.1 million guaranteed.

Bronny’s draft position and the Lakers’ interest in him, his contract is likely to be similar to these figures, possibly a multi-year deal with some guaranteed money.

The exact terms will be negotiated between his representatives and the Lakers and might not be fully shared with the public.

How Did Bronny James Perform at USC?

Bronny James had a modest freshman season at USC in 2023-24. Here are his key stats:

  • Games Played: 25 (6 starts)
  • Minutes Per Game: 19.4
  • Points Per Game: 4.8
  • Rebounds Per Game: 2.8
  • Assists Per Game: 2.1
  • Steals Per Game: 0.8
  • Blocks Per Game: 0.2
  • Field Goal Percentage: 36.6%
  • Three-Point Percentage: 26.7%
  • Free Throw Percentage: 67.6%

Bronny’s offensive output was relatively low, with his scoring and shooting percentages showing room for improvement.

However, his defensive contributions and playmaking abilities were notable parts of his game.

Cardiac Arrest Impact

Bronny’s season was affected by a cardiac arrest he suffered during the summer before his freshman year, which might have affected his overall performance and playing time.

Despite this setback, he showed resilience in returning to play and contributing to the team.

NBA Draft Combine Performance

At the NBA Draft Combine, Bronny showed some of his strengths, including:

  • Vertical Jump: 40.5-inch vertical jump (third-best overall)
  • 3-Point Shooting Drill: Strong performance, shooting 19 of 25 (second place)
  • Passing Skills and Defensive Prowess: Showcased in scrimmages

While his college stats might not be eye-popping, scouts and teams are likely considering his potential for growth, athleticism, and basketball IQ in addition to his raw statistical output.

“Despite his health scare, Bronny showed incredible resilience and determination to return to the court. It’s a testament to his character and love for the game.” – USC Coach, Los Angeles Times

What Were Bronny James’ High School Stats?

Bronny’s high school career saw significant improvement each year. Here are his key stats:

  • Freshman Year: Averaged 4.1 points per game, played about 15 minutes per game
  • Sophomore Year: Limited playing time due to a meniscus tear, scored 7 points in his return game during the CIF Southern Section Open Division final
  • Junior Year: Averaged 8.8 points per game, 3.3 rebounds per game, 2.8 assists per game, 1.9 steals per game, played in 29 games
  • Senior Year (Best Season): Averaged 14.2 points per game, 5.5 rebounds per game, 2.4 assists per game, 1.8 steals per game
  • Additional Achievement: Named to the McDonald’s All-American Game in his senior year, scored 15 points, shooting 5-for-8 from 3-point range in the McDonald’s All-American Game

Bronny’s high school career at Sierra Canyon saw significant improvement each year, with his senior season being his most productive statistically.

What Endorsements Does Bronny James Have?

Bronny James has secured several major endorsement deals, which have contributed significantly to his net worth.

Major Endorsement Deals

  • Nike: Bronny signed a partnership with Nike in October 2022. This deal is likely responsible for a big part of his NIL valuation.
  • Beats by Dre: He agreed to an endorsement deal with Beats by Dre shortly after his Nike agreement in October 2022. This follows in his father LeBron’s footsteps, who has been a Beats ambassador for over a decade.
  • PSD Underwear: Bronny’s first NIL deal was with PSD Underwear in early 2022, becoming a brand ambassador for the company.
  • Fast X: He appeared in a commercial for the Fast and Furious movie “Fast X” in 2023.

These endorsements have significantly boosted Bronny’s NIL (Name, Image, and Likeness) valuation, which was estimated at $5.9 million according to On3, making him one of the highest-valued NCAA athletes at the time.

The exact financial details of these deals aren’t publicly disclosed, but they show Bronny’s marketability across different sectors, leveraging both his athletic potential and his family’s legacy in basketball.

What Is Bronny James’ Net Worth in 2024?

Bronny James’ net worth in 2024 is estimated to be around $5 million. Here are some key points about his financial status:

  • Primary Income Source: His net worth comes mainly from his Name, Image, and Likeness (NIL) deals and endorsements, not NBA earnings at this point.
  • NIL Valuation: Bronny’s NIL value was estimated at $5.9 million during the 2023/24 college basketball season, making him one of the highest-valued NCAA athletes at the time.
  • Major Endorsements: He has secured big endorsement deals with companies like Nike, Beats by Dre, and PSD Underwear. His Nike partnership, announced in October 2022, is likely a big contributor to his overall net worth.
  • Family Influence: Bronny’s net worth is influenced by his family background, especially being the son of NBA superstar LeBron James, which has given him unique opportunities and exposure.

As Bronny starts his professional career with the Los Angeles Lakers, his net worth is likely to change, potentially increasing a lot depending on his NBA contract and future endorsements.

It’s important to remember that net worth estimates can vary and may not always reflect the most current financial situation, especially for young athletes just starting their professional careers.

Who Is Bronny James’ Father?

Bronny’s father is LeBron James, the NBA superstar. LeBron is widely considered one of the greatest basketball players of all time.

Here are some key points about their father-son relationship:

LeBron’s Background

Born in Akron, Ohio, LeBron has played in the NBA since 2003 and has had an amazing career.

Father-Son Connection

Bronny is LeBron’s oldest son, born in 2004. LeBron has long wanted to play in the NBA alongside his son.

Historic Potential

In the 2024 NBA Draft, the Los Angeles Lakers picked Bronny James with the 55th overall pick, setting up the potential for the first father-son duo to play together in NBA history.

LeBron currently plays for the Lakers, so if he stays with the team, he and Bronny will be teammates.

Supportive Father

LeBron has been very supportive of Bronny’s basketball career, often attending his high school and college games when he can.

This father-son connection has gotten a lot of media attention and fan interest as Bronny enters the NBA to possibly play alongside his legendary father.

Who are the Members of Lopez’s Family?

Bronny comes from a close and supportive family. Here are some key details:

Parents

  • LeBron James: NBA superstar and widely considered one of the greatest basketball players of all time.
  • Savannah James: LeBron’s wife and Bronny’s mother.

Siblings

  • Bryce Maximus: Bronny’s younger brother, 16 years old.
  • Zhuri Nova: Bronny’s younger sister, 9 years old.

Family Dynamics

The James family is known for being close and prioritizing time together.

LeBron is very supportive of Bronny’s basketball career, often attending his games.

Bronny and his brother Bryce have a close relationship, with Bronny noting that Bryce would always answer his call without hesitation.

Basketball Legacy

LeBron has expressed a desire to play in the NBA alongside Bronny. Both Bronny and Bryce want to follow their father’s basketball career.

Family Milestones

Bronny and Bryce were born before LeBron and Savannah’s wedding in 2013. Zhuri joined the family a year after their wedding.

Grandmother

Bronny’s paternal grandmother is Gloria Marie James.

The James family is deeply rooted in basketball, with LeBron being a legendary NBA player and now Bronny following in his footsteps by being drafted into the NBA.

“Growing up, basketball was always a part of our family. Watching my dad play and learning from him has been an incredible journey. I’m excited to continue our legacy.” – Bronny James, The Athletic

FAQs

What historic first will LeBron and Bronny achieve?

LeBron and Bronny James will make history as the first father-son duo to play together in the NBA.

What round was Bronny James drafted?

The Lakers picked Bronny 55th overall in the second round of the 2024 NBA Draft.

What position does Bronny James play?

Bronny is a 19-year-old guard known for his defensive skills and athleticism.

What are Bronny James’ height and weight?

Bronny James is 6’1.5″ tall and weighs 210 pounds.

What is Bronny James’ jersey number with the Lakers?

The Lakers gave Bronny jersey number 6.

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What Makes Bill Belichick a Legendary Coach and Who is His New Girlfriend, Jordon Hudson?

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Alistair Thiedicke hails from Hamburg, Germany, where his love for sports took root. Growing up a die-hard fan, his passion for sports evolved into a career in sports writing. Since 2023, Alistair has been a dedicated writer and editor at Viz Times, covering Soccer, NBA, WNBA, NFL, MLB, and more. His engaging articles captivate sports enthusiasts everywhere.

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