Bronny James' outlandish contract proves the Lakers have lost their collective minds

Bronny James
Bronny James / Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The Los Angeles Lakers made headlines when they drafted Bronny James, the son of superstar LeBron James. Also, the Lakers signed Bronny to a 4-year deal worth nearly $8 million, which is unusual considering that he was the 55th pick in the 2024 NBA draft.

Players taken that late are often signed to two-way contracts or an Exhibit 10 contract.

The Exhibit 10 contract is basically a make-good deal that allows players to play in Summer League, attend training camp, and play in the preseason before either making the team or being cut and possibly playing for their team's G-League affiliate. However, Bronny was signed to neither, and he will get guaranteed money despite having a lackluster season at USC. That leads to questions about nepotism and whether he deserves that contract. 

Questions about nepotism add extra pressure on Bronny James to succeed.

Unlike other sports, the NBA is filled with second-generation players as well as siblings but very rarely are players accused of benefiting from nepotism. After all, most second-generation players are way better than their parents and if they aren't, then they would still need to be at least decent or they often don't last very long.

For instance, John Stockton's son, David Stockton, lasted just six games in the NBA; Michael Jordan's sons, Marcus and Jeffrey Jordan, played Division 1 college basketball but never made it to the NBA. Moreover, Gary Payton's son, Gary Payton II, didn't actually become a rotation player in the NBA until his late 20s.

All that is to say is that most players like Bronny James have to earn their way but he hasn't just yet. That doesn't mean that he won't, however, and Bronny does have NBA athleticism and length. With a lot of work, he could carve out a role as a three-and-d guard for the Lakers, and prove he's worthy of his contract.