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To Draft or Not to Draft: The Bronny James Dilemma for NBA Teams

Few players are garnering the attention of Bronny James heading into the 2024 NBA Draft. It is okay to admit all this is an abnormality for a guard projected to be a late second-round pick. Our NBA odds set the over-under for James’ draft position at 41½.

All the data supports the over being the play for LeBron James’ oldest son’s draft position. There could be a sense around The Association that teams are hoping the Lakers take Bronny to avoid the intense scrutiny for a player not guaranteed to make the final roster.

To Draft or Not to Draft: The Bronny James Dilemma for NBA Teams
Bronny James #6 of the USC Trojans -David Becker/Getty Images/AFP


Consider Bronny’s stats during his lone season at USC: 4.8 points, 2.8 rebounds and 2.1 assists per game while shooting a dismal 26.7% from long range in 25 appearances. Bronny started just six games for the Trojans.

You’re an NBA GM faced with the decision of whether or not to draft Bronny. Here’s the case for and against calling Bronny’s name on draft night.

 

Reasons to Draft Bronny… or Not

An NBA Team Could Draft Bronny to Make a Run at LeBron

Part of the reasons Bronny’s pre-draft process has been so confusing is Klutch agent Rich Paul continues to talk about the guard in media interviews. When was the last time an agent listed by name the teams interested in a prospect before the draft?

LeBron’s previous comments have complicated matters as well. Paul attempted to throw cold water on the idea of a team taking Bronny to land LeBron as a package deal.


Yet, it is reasonable to imagine a team attempting to land LeBron by taking Bronny. Especially with a second-round pick that historically has little chance of being a difference-maker.

“LeBron is off this idea of having to play with Bronny,” Paul told ESPN’s Jonathan Givony. “If he does, he does. But if he doesn’t, he doesn’t. There’s no deal made that it’s guaranteed that if the Lakers draft Bronny at 55, he [LeBron] will re-sign. If that was the case, I would force them to take him at 17.

“We don’t need leverage. The Lakers can draft Bronny and LeBron doesn’t re-sign. LeBron is also not going to Phoenix for a minimum deal. We can squash that now,” Paul aded.

There are other teams that love Bronny. For example, Minnesota, Dallas, Toronto. If it’s not the Lakers, it will be someone else.”

LeBron Kind of Created This Mess by Amping Up Bronny

Bronny himself is in an unfortunate situation because all indications are he is a solid person who enjoys playing basketball. There are a plethora of ways LeBron amped up the pressure on Bronny only to call out the media for talking about his son.


There is the whole saga of LeBron saying he wanted to play with his son. Paul has now attempted to say “J/K” on those rumors which were started by LeBron himself. Consider this March 6, 2023 tweet from King James.


“Man Bronny definitely better than some of these cats I’ve been watching on league pass today,” LeBron said on X in the 2023 viral message. “S*** lightweight hilarious.”

Maybe LeBron had a couple of glasses of wine before posting this on X. We’ve all been there, but you can’t hype up your son while getting mad about the media coverage.

 

So, How Good Can Bronny Be in the NBA?

I’ve laid out all the reasons why NBA teams are likely skeptical of Bronny’s NBA outlook. Yet, there is also a clear case for a team to take a flier on Bronny with a late NBA draft pick.

Bronny was a top recruit who suffered a severe medical issue before his freshman season at USC. This meant Bronny did not have a normal offseason to prepare for the transition from high school to college.

As the son of one of the NBA GOATs, Bronny grew up learning the game from his father. I watched Bronny play several times in person at Peach Jam. It is not that Bronny is a bad player, but with the last name of James, the expectations become out of control.

The case for James eventually becoming a rotation NBA player centers on his defense, passing ability, and basketball IQ. For this to happen, James’ shooting must improve, especially as an undersized guard.

NBA teams not named the Lakers are going to find it challenging to take Bronny given the unprecedented spotlight on a likely second-round pick. The wise play at the BetUS sportsbook is still betting the over on Bronny’s draft prop. The Lakers remain the most popular projection for Bronny at No. 55.

 

 

 

Questions Of The Day

Where is LeBron James’ son Bronny James projected to be selected in the 2024 NBA Draft?


Bronny James is widely projected in mock drafts to be selected by the Lakers in the second round with the No. 55 pick.

What is Bronny James over-under set at for the NBA draft?

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