Bronny James is staying in the NBA draft

Bronny James, son of the Los Angeles Lakers LeBron James, will be staying in the 2024 NBA draft according to his agent Rich Paul.

Bronny James

This means that James’ college career at USA will consist of one year that was shortened at the beginning of the season due to a heart emergency.

“He’s staying in the draft,” said Paul in an interview with ESPN published early Wednesday, less than 24 hours before the 11:59 p.m. Eastern time NCAA deadline James had to make the decision.

A former McDonald’s All-American who starred at Chatsworth Sierra Canyon High, He averaged 4.8 points, 2.8 rebounds and 2.1 assists in 25 games with USC.

Bronny James suffered sudden cardiac arrest last summer before joining the Trojans on the court in December.

“Bronny’s [draft] range is wide,” Paul told ESPN. “He’s a really good prospect who has a lot of room for growth. It only takes one team. I don’t care where that team is — it can be No. 1 or 58 — [but] I do care about the plan, the development. The team’s strategy, the opportunity and the financial commitment. That’s why I’m not doing a two-way deal. Every team understands that.”

40-year old LeBron James stated that his goal is to play in the NBA alongside his son. James, who can opt out of his contract with the Lakers this summer, has since backed off that statement in favor of allowing his son to follow his own path.

According to The Times’ Dan Woike, the assumption within the Lakers organization and around the NBA is that James will opt out of his current deal and sign a new two- or three-year contract with the Lakers for maximum money.

“The Lakers need to look at Bronny like everyone else,” Paul told ESPN. “If they value him enough and he’s there, that’s great. If it’s not the Lakers, that’s great. I won’t be mad if it’s not. It’s obvious that people hear the conversation around the dad and son playing together, but that’s not our focus. If it happens organically, great. I’m not building on that.”

“I’m not putting unrealistic expectations on Bronny. He’s far from a finished product. But he has a hell of [a] start. He’s positioned well. … I don’t see him not getting drafted, but if it got to a point where the situations didn’t make sense and we needed to go undrafted, that’s fine.”

Bronny has turned down multiple invites for workouts with NBA teams, but plans to work out for the Lakers and Suns.

The Lakers could take James in the first or second round of next month’s draft. The Lakers’ first-round pick at No. 17 depends on whether the New Orleans Pelicans defer it to 2025. The Lakers have the No. 55 pick in the second round.


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