Bronny James Likely to Develop with South Bay Lakers

LeBron James adjusts his views on teaming with Bronny.

by Abdullah Magsi
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Bronny James Likely to Develop with South Bay Lakers
© David Becker/Getty Images

During the excitement of the NBA playoffs, attention briefly shifted to the NBA Draft Combine in Chicago, where Bronny James, among 78 invited prospects, took center stage. The event, which ran from May 13-19, spotlighted the USC Trojan’s rookie, who had a notably turbulent season, averaging 4.8 points with a shooting accuracy of 36.6%, and a mere 26.7% from beyond the arc.

Bronny's performance fluctuated throughout the combine, with a lackluster display on the first day raising concerns about his readiness for the NBA. However, an enhanced showing on the subsequent day offered a glimpse of hope and slightly shifted the narrative around LeBron James’ eldest son.

Speculations suggest that the LA Lakers could secure Bronny in the second round, potentially with the 55th pick. NBA analyst Eric Pincus commented on his prospective trajectory with the team, stating, "The most likely route for him is with the Lakers, whether at No.

55 or through a trade. Regardless of the method, he’s expected to spend considerable time developing with the South Bay Lakers, either on a standard or a two-way contract."

LeBron's Flexible Stance

LeBron James, initially claiming he would join any team that drafts his son, has nuanced his stance.

The four-time MVP now expresses a broader desire to see his son in the NBA, whether as a teammate or competitor, though he shows a preference for sharing team colors with Bronny. LeBron’s own future with the Lakers hangs in the balance as he faces a June 29 decision on a $51.4 million player option.

Opting out would make him an unrestricted free agent, free to follow his son to any team, potentially influencing the Lakers' draft decisions. As the 2024 NBA Draft approaches, basketball enthusiasts are abuzz with speculation on whether Bronny’s draft position could sway LeBron’s decision.

Teams like the Philadelphia 76ers and the Orlando Magic, both with adequate cap space, could also entice LeBron if they draft his son. The New Orleans Pelicans hold a strategic position with the option to claim the Lakers' pick this year or opt for a potentially more lucrative first-round pick in 2025.

This decision could dramatically shape the draft dynamics, particularly for the Lakers and their pursuit of Bronny, whose potential remains a subject of keen interest and strategic deliberation in NBA circles.

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