The Lаkers Wіll Do Anythіng They Cаn to Drаft Bronny Jаmes

It would be a Lakers season without questions about LeBron James’ future, particularly in what is effectively a contract year. This year feels like more possibilities than ever are on the table after the Warriors’ trade attempt, even if it was quickly shut down by the Lakers, LeBron and Rich Paul.

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Much of the deliberation of his future stems from his desire to play with his oldest son Bronny. There’s a very clear and obvious way for the Lakers to eliminate that uncertainty of LeBron’s future: draft Bronny.

That’s not quite as straightforward as it seems though. Due to his health scare during the summary, the start of his season didn’t come until December. Paired with an already uncertain draft outlook after his freshman season and it’s unclear where he stands as a prospect little more than two months into his collegiate career.


The Lakers, meanwhile, aren’t guaranteed to have a first round pick and the second round pick they do have, courtesy of the Clippers, likely isn’t going to be until late in the draft. Still, that isn’t stopping them from exploring the idea of drafting Bronny, as reported in a recent article on The Athletic by Sam Amick, Anthony Slater and Jovan Buha.

“The Lakers, per the high-ranking team source, are also willing to explore the notion of adding Bronny James next season. This stance, the source said, is rooted in the reality that James’ happiness truly matters to the organization. They will potentially have their 2024 first-round pick (depending on if the New Orleans Pelicans, as part of the blockbuster Davis trade, choose to receive that pick or defer to 2025) and have two second-round picks that could help to that end (the Clippers’ and the less favorable of the Grizzlies’ and Wizards’ selections).”

As noted, Bronny’s scouting report so far is a rather incomplete one. Last month, Jonathan Givony of DraftExpress provided an update on Bronny after not having him selected in his two-round mock draft.

A month into his college career, James is still finding his footing at USC, having some strong offensive performances (15 points in 20 minutes at Oregon State) and some lackluster ones (two points vs. Stanford, zero points vs. Washington State), as he is not the type of player who will consistently carry a team with his scoring. He’s been excellent defensively, though, locking up in one-on-ones with his quick feet and strong frame, and flying around off the ball generating turnovers in bunches. Mostly a spot-up shooter and transition finisher, James has plenty of room to grow as a ball handler to become more of a true combo guard than an undersized 3-and-D wing like he currently appears. Finding another notch with his aggressiveness and scoring proficiency would make James a more clear-cut candidate for this year’s draft, and it’s not clear what his outlook will be if he doesn’t break out in the coming months. — Givony

It feels like a genuine question of whether Bronny will declare for the draft after this season. Having a fully healthy offseason and regular season and another year of development could pave the way for him.

At the same time, the 2024 NBA Draft class looks to be a pretty weak one, relatively speaking. It would take a notable leap for him to move into a potentially stronger 2025 NBA Draft class.

There are a lot of moving parts, but the always strategic Rob Pelinka and the Lakers front office are certainly exhausting them all, no question.

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