WATCH: Lakers' call to Bronny James before selecting him with No. 55 pick in 2024 NBA Draft

As expected, the Los Angeles Lakers selected Bronny James out of USC with the No. 55 overall pick in the 2024 NBA Draft on Thursday. Now, Bronny and LeBron James will become the first father-son duo to play together in the NBA — that is, assuming LeBron returns to the Lakers. 

LeBron has a player option worth $51.4 million for next season, but can opt out and become an unrestricted free agent. In the likely event he does so in order to ink a long-term deal, the Lakers are prepared to offer him a new three-year, $160 million contract, according to Dave McMenamin.

One way or another, LeBron will almost certainly be back with the Lakers next season, especially now that they’ve drafted his son. On Friday, the team released behind-the-scenes footage that showed the moment when Lakers GM Rob Pelinka and coach JJ Redick let Bronny know of their decision. 

Rob Pelinka: “Hey Bronny, you got Rob Pelinka here and Coach Redick. I think first and foremost, you’ve worked incredibly hard man, you’ve put in a ton of work. And when we had lunch up at the facility for your workout, we talked about your work ethic and that means a lot to us. I think second to that, you’re a player of high character and a person of high character, and that is valued at the Lakers. So it’s important for Coach Redick and I to let you know those qualities really stand out. And so the Lakers are going to draft you with the 55th pick in the draft and I just want to let you know.”

JJ Redick: “Bronny, this is JJ. I just wanted to say congrats, man. Your hard work’s paid off, you’re going to have a long NBA career and I can’t wait to coach you, man. Congrats.”

Bronny: “I aprreciate it, coach.”

Pelinka: “We’ll see you soon, Bronny. The work begins.”

Bronny: “Yes sir.”

Prior to the draft, Bob Meyers reported that Bronny’s agent, Rich Paul, had been calling teams besides the Lakers and threatening that his client would play in Australia next season if they drafted him. While the Lakers were always the most likely candidate to select Bronny, that ploy sealed the deal. 

Bronny should debut for the Lakers during the NBA Summer League next month. The Lakers’ first game in the California Classic is set for July 6 versus the Sacramento Kings. Later in the summer, the Lakers will also play in the primary Summer League in Las Vegas. Their first game there will be on July 12 against the Houston Rockets. 

When he first plays with his dad remains unclear. Throughout the process, Paul has been clear that he doesn’t want Bronny on a two-way deal, but it’s certainly possible he’ll spend time in the G League, especially considering that the Lakers’ affiliate is housed in the same facility as the NBA club. 

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