LeBron James signed a two-year extension with the Los Angeles Lakers today reportedly worth $85 million. While much of the talk around the extension will center around LeBron's commitment to the Lakers and how it helps them extend Anthony Davis next, the truth is this move is all about LeBron's son, Bronny.
For those who don't know, Bronny James is a pretty good basketball player for Sierra Canyon High School in California. He's the No. 24 ranked recruit in the Class of 2023 by ESPN and, most recently, appeared to develop into a man overnight.
Like his father, he's athletic and strong with an above-average feel for the game and the kind of ball handling, vision and passing we've come to expect from anyone with the name James on the back of their jersey. He's also a good shooter and, again like Pops, plays multiple positions, though he's primarily a guard as he has yet to inherit his dad's size, standing at 6-foot-3.
Which brings us back to his father. LeBron has said his greatest accomplishment would be staying in the NBA long enough to play alongside his son. Well, depending on what happens with the NBA Draft rules, his son could enter the NBA in 2023. Guess when LeBron's new contract extension ends? 2023.
Coincidence? I think not.
LeBron is setting things up so when this contract ends with the Lakers, he can sign with whatever team drafts his son. Call that unfair if you want, but LeBron has been clear about his desires and has every right to fulfill them however he pleases.
The biggest obstacle is the fact that right now the NBA draft rules stipulate that a player must be one year removed from high school to enter the draft. However, according to Adrian Wojnarowski, there's growing momentum toward that rule being removed and allowing players who are 18 to enter the draft starting in...wait for it...2022.
Things really work out for LeBron often, don't they?
Would the prospect of teaming LeBron James with Bronny James make Junior the No. 1 pick in the 2023 draft? I mean, we gotta see how Bronny develops both physically and playing-wise before jumping to that conclusion. But when you think of the marketing potential and the reality that LeBron is still a Top 3 player in the NBA today, you'd have to think that would factor into a team's decision making.
Regardless of where Bronny James ends up, it seems almost certain LeBron will follow and this contract gives him the freedom to do just that.