Family matters: Lakers pick Bronny to join dad



Before Thursday, there had never been an active father-son duo playing in the NBA at the same time. And now, the first father-son pair are set to be teammates after the Los Angeles Lakers selected Bronny James — the eldest son of LeBron James — with the No. 55 pick in the second round.

Bronny, 19, averaged 4.8 points, 2.8 rebounds and 2.1 assists in 19.4 minutes per game in his lone season at USC. He joined the Trojans in game action midseason after being sidelined for nearly five months while recovering from a cardiac arrest episode that required surgery to treat a congenital heart defect.

He was medically cleared to be drafted by the NBA’s Fitness to Play Panel on the eve of the draft combine.

The former McDonald’s All-American’s stock improved in Chicago during the NBA draft combine, testing well in agility drills and finishing as one of the top performers in the 3-point shooting drills.

His father has until June 29 to opt into the final year of his Lakers contract — worth $51.4 million for next season — or become an unrestricted free agent. The Lakers are focused on retaining LeBron James for his 22nd season and beyond and are willing to offer the 39-year-old the maximum three-year, $162 million deal he is eligible for to keep him with the franchise, sources told ESPN.

Lakers All-Star big man Anthony Davis told ESPN before the second round began Thursday that he supported the team targeting Bronny.

“He’s very good defensively,” Davis told ESPN. “He can read the floor very well. I think he’s a really good playmaker. I saw him work out a couple times besides the [Klutch Sports] pro day and working with a big — his reads, reading the defense, making the right passes — that was really impressive to me. I think he’s going to be fine, man. Obviously it’s a lot of pressure on him with his dad being who he is.

“But one thing about Bronny, from what I’ve seen and what I heard, he wants to create his own path and he doesn’t want to be — even though he’s LeBron James’ son, he don’t want be seen as that. And I think having that mindset and trying to create his own path is going to work out for him. … Who knows, he might come in and be ready to play for us.”



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