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Bronny James cashing in early—Is he living up to the LeBron legacy already?

A few years ago, none of us could have even dreamt of seeing a father-son duo play together for the same franchise in the NBA. Now, however, with Bronny James having become a full-fledged member of the NBA, that dream has become a reality. However, was being selected as the 55 overall pick in the second round of the NBA draft enough for him to secure a high-paying contract? Apparently not, as the young star ended up receiving a 4-year rookie contract that would pay him $7.89 million over the period. In comparison, the number one overall pick in the draft, Zaccharie Risacher, earns over $57 million over the next 4 years with the Atlanta Hawks.

Despite the low figures, Bronny did not have to wait for long to get the first round of cash deposited into his bank account. During a segment of NBA on ESPN released yesterday, sportswriter Brian Windhorst highlighted that the 19-year-old has received a $500,000 advance on his annual pay.

“It helps to get setup, you know, you’re at your first job. You know you gotta buy clothes and furniture,” said Windhorst about Bronny. This statement might have been an alleged trolling one from the host since Bronny is the son of the only active billionaire player in NBA history. Following up on Windhorst, his co-host Tim McMahon also took a shot at the young player by stating “Is that a raise or a pay cut from his allowance?”

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NBA players are allowed to get an advance on their annual pay via a contract loan. Usually, the same is granted for players who may be looking to receive the same to lock up the down payment on a personal residence, a cash purchase of a home, or use the same for investments. According to Gaimday, this advance can only be provided for contracts that have been signed within the new fiscal year. For Bronny James, it has not even been two weeks since he was signed by the Lakers.

Poll of the day

Do you think Bronny James deserves his first NBA paycheck this early?

Absolutely

No way

Too soon to tell

Only time will tell

In normal situations, NBA players don’t receive their first paycheck until 4 months after the draft. Therefore, Bronny would not have seen the amount go into the account at least until late October or mid-November. However, having now taken an advance, he can expect his first paycheck to come to the mailbox with the adjusted figure.

As of now, it is not specified why Bronny chose to take an advance on his pay. Neither the player nor LeBron James has provided any information on the same.

Former ESPN employee calls out Bronny James’s contract to be “unusual”

With Bronny James coming into the NBA, not many chose to deny that the player’s situation was “unusual.” After all, the player got drafted into the biggest basketball league while possessing a college stats record of 4.8 points, 2.8 rebounds, and 2.1 assists. Once the 19-year-old contract details first came out, the usage of the same word was once again repeated by ex-ESPN columnist Jason Whitlock.

A non-official tradition in the NBA has been that the first-round picks are provided with guaranteed contracts, while second-round picked athletes are usually awarded a two-way, partially guaranteed, or non-guaranteed deal. When Bronny was signed under the 4-year $7.89 million contract, however, almost $4.4 million of it was placed under the guaranteed category. Furthermore, the 55 pick during the 2023 NBA Draft, Isaiah Wong, was signed under a 2-way contract worth $559,782. This means that Bronny will earn almost 14 times more than the player in his position last year.

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“(It) is a bit unusual. It’s not unprecedented, but second-round picks, particularly late-round second-round picks, don’t normally get guaranteed contracts,” said Whitlock. “They get two-way contracts. But Bronny got it. He’s a kid of privilege.”

USA Today via Reuters

Bronny’s higher-than-usual paying contract may show some hints of privilege. However, the same may not be said about him receiving a guaranteed contract. According to a six-year-old report by NBC Sports, 132 college players drafted in the second round of the then-previous six drafts saw 91 of them (68.9%) receive a guaranteed contract. Though a lot has changed since the report came out, giving out guaranteed contracts to second-round players has not become extinct.

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Before leaving, be sure to check out some insights that Shaquille O’Neal’s ex-agent, Leonard Armato, shared about the Lakers legend’s infamous feud with the late Kobe Bryant.