Bronny James’s Draft Decision: NBA Dreams or Paternal Playoff?

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The Path to Glory: Bronny James Stays the Course

Los Angeles, California

When Bronny James’ NBA Draft aspirations began last month, he also entered the transfer portal, keeping his options wide open. After participating in the NBA Scouting Combine, scouts were lukewarm in their assessment of the young star.

However, ahead of Wednesday’s draft opt-out deadline, James’ agent, Rich Paul, announced that the 19-year-old shooting guard would forgo his remaining college eligibility.

“He’s determined to pursue his NBA dream,” Paul told ESPN.

Despite being a McDonald’s All-American, James faced setbacks early in his college career. He suffered a life-threatening cardiac arrest during a workout and struggled to make an impact during his lone season at USC, averaging less than five points per game.

NBA scouts were equally skeptical, with one declaring James “not an NBA prospect.” Another predicted that it would be surprising if anyone outside his father’s Los Angeles Lakers would draft him.

However, according to The Athletic, over 10 teams invited James to pre-draft workouts, but he accepted only two: the Lakers and Phoenix Suns. This suggests that, despite the negative evaluations, NBA teams are still interested in his potential.

The Suns are reportedly considering drafting James with the 22nd overall pick, while the Lakers, who own the 17th pick, are weighing the possibility of bringing him in to extend James Sr.’s career.

LeBron James, who recently exercised his player option to remain with the Lakers, has long expressed his desire to play with his son. However, recent reports indicate that he is more focused on nurturing Bronny’s development than sharing the court with him.

Despite his agent’s recent comments about James being a “free agent,” it’s uncertain whether the young guard intends to leave the Lakers. Paul’s statement could merely be a reflection of the team’s current uncertainty.

If James does opt out of his contract – which is set to pay him over million – he could potentially sign a three-year, 1.9 million deal with the Lakers. However, the team’s management will need to carefully consider this decision, weighing the financial implications and the long-term development of both father and son.


  • James declined draft workouts with all but two teams: the Lakers and Phoenix Suns.
  • The Suns are reportedly considering selecting James with the 22nd overall pick.
  • The Lakers, who have the 17th pick, may draft James to keep LeBron in Los Angeles.
  • LeBron James is focused on developing his son’s career, rather than playing alongside him.
  • James is a potential free agent but may remain with the Lakers if he opts out of his contract.

Updated Images:

Bronny James vs UCLA

USC Trojans guard Bronny James (6) during a college basketball game against the UCLA Bruins on February 24, 2024 at Pauley Pavilion in Los Angeles, CA.  (Tapia/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)