VBB_5797.jpg

Scotty Pippen Jr.

Vanderbilt point guard Scotty Pippen Jr. has been surrounded by NBA greatness his entire life.

Now, the 21-year-old son of six-time NBA champion and seven-time All-Star Scottie Pippen, will play next to another star in four-time NBA champion and 18-time All-Star LeBron James after signing a two-way contract with the Los Angeles Lakers after going undrafted on Thursday night.

“Dreams come true,” Pippen Jr. tweeted Thursday night. “Let’s get to work #lakeshow.”

Under his two-way deal, Pippen Jr. can play in up to 50 NBA games with the rest of the season being spent in the G League. He’ll earn approximately $502,000 for the 2022-23 season. If Los Angeles makes the playoffs, Pippen Jr. can’t appear in any games unless the Lakers convert his contract into a standard NBA contract.

A Los Angeles native, Pippen Jr. starred as a prep standout at Sierra Canyon School in California, averaging 16.3 points, 4.6 assists and 3.6 rebounds per game during his senior year. James’ son, Bronny James, currently plays at Sierra Canyon.

Pippen Jr., who spent his three-year run with the Commodores being coached by a two-time NBA All-Star in Jerry Stackhouse, joins a Lakers lineup loaded with talent including Anthony Davis, Russell Westbrook and Carmelo Anthony, who have combined for 27 All-Star appearances, a league MVP and three league scoring titles.

James (30.3 points per game), Davis (23.2), Westbrook (18.5) and Anthony (13.3) were four of the Lakers' top five scorers last season, although Westbrook reportedly could be on his way out.

Considered undersized by NBA standards — Pippen Jr. is just 6-foot-1 — he wasn’t ranked among the draft’s top 60 prospects despite leading Vanderbilt in scoring (20.4 points per game), assists (167) and steals (70) while shooting .416 from the field and .325 from 3-point range this season. 

He was also a two-time All-SEC first team selection, an SEC All-Freshman selection and a 2021 Lute Olson All-American.

The Lakers also signed Shareef O’Neal, son of former NBA champion Shaquille O’Neal, to a two-way deal after the draft.

Follow Michael Gallagher on Twitter @MGsports_