Bronny James Is Making More Than 14 Times What The No. 55 Pick Made Last Year

By on July 9, 2024 in ArticlesSports News

One of the storylines during the 2024 NBA Draft was whether a team would select Bronny James, the son of LeBron James. Under normal circumstances, Bronny would not be drafted by an NBA franchise. He put up subpar numbers on a bad college team and is still less than a year away from experiencing a serious heart condition on the court. But this is not your typical situation. Bronny is the son of one of the greatest players of all time, and his agent actively encouraged other teams not to draft the 19-year-old, so he could ultimately wind up on the same roster as his father.

The Lakers agreed to contracts with LeBron and Bronny on the same day. LeBron will be making $104 million over two seasons. That's a ton of money, but he's earned it over a 20-year career. He's broken all kinds of records, including scoring more points than any player ever. Bronny has not played a single game in the NBA and still signed a four-year, $7.9 million contract. The first three years are guaranteed, and the fourth has a team option.

In most cases, second-round picks sign smaller deals that are partially or not at all guaranteed. We saw that happen with Isaiah Wong, the 55th pick of the 2023 NBA Draft.

Jevone Moore/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The Indiana Pacers drafted the talented guard out of Miami, who helped lead the Hurricanes to the Elite Eight in 2022 and the Final Four in 2023. Wong signed a two-way contract with the Pacers worth $559,782. Bronny will make more than 14 times that salary over the length of his contract.

Wong appeared in one game for the Pacers, primarily playing in the G League. We'd imagine Bronny will see time on an NBA court at least a few times with the Lakers simply because of the hype around his roster spot.

It's clear Bronny's relation to LeBron has helped him, but is this type of deal completely unheard of? Sam Vecenie of The Athletic pointed out that other players taken around Bronny's draft slot have gotten multiple guaranteed years, though those guys all played better in college.

Another fun tidbit: Yahoo Sports noted that Bronny's contract is higher than what Nikola Jokic got from the Denver Nuggets in 2015. Jokic signed a four-year deal worth $5.5 million and has since won three MVP awards and an NBA championship.

While Wong hasn't had an immediate NBA impact, other recent selections at the 55th pick have signed long-term deals. Gui Santos, chosen in the 2022 NBA Draft, signed a three-year, $5.1 million contract with the Warriors with more than $1 million guaranteed. The Oklahoma City Thunder took Aaron Wiggins at No. 55 in the 2021 NBA Draft; he just agreed to a five-year, $47 million extension.

We'll find out soon enough whether Bronny can earn a second contract with his play on the court.

Did we make a mistake?
Submit a correction suggestion and help us fix it!
Submit a Correction