Bronny James To Remain In 2024 NBA Draft

As expected, Bronny James, the son of longtime NBA superstar LeBron James, will keep his name in the 2024 NBA draft pool, forgoing his remaining NCAA eligibility, agent Rich Paul confirmed to Adrian Wojnarowski and Jonathan Givony of ESPN.

The deadline for NCAA early entrants who are testing the draft waters to withdraw from the pool and retain their college eligibility is 11:59 pm Eastern on Wednesday. While several players have pulled out in recent days in order to return to school, Bronny won’t be among them after having improved his draft stock at this month’s combine and a recent pro day.

Bronny, who suffered cardiac arrest last July, was eventually cleared to return to the court and suited up in 25 games for USC as a freshman. However, he averaged just 4.8 points, 2.8 rebounds, and 2.1 assists in 19.3 minutes per game, with a .366/.267/.676 shooting line.

That underwhelming performance in his first college season hurt Bronny’s draft stock, but it has rebounded as of late, with Givony suggesting that the 19-year-old has risen from fringe prospect to draftable prospect. The 6’2″ guard now ranks 54th overall on ESPN’s big board after displaying his explosiveness and an improved three-point shot during the pre-draft process.

Although LeBron has previously expressed a desire to play with his son, Paul has repeatedly stressed in recent weeks that the primary goal is to get Bronny into the best possible developmental situation, not on the same roster as his father. The veteran agent has also stated that the younger James won’t sign a two-way contract.

“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 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.”

Shams Charania of The Athletic reported last week that at least 10 teams have invited Bronny to participate in private pre-draft workouts, but Paul is expected to pass on a number of those invites — the Lakers and Suns are the only teams confirmed to have secured workouts with his client. Phoenix holds the No. 22 pick in next month’s draft, while L.A. will pick at No. 55 and possibly No. 17 as well, if the Pelicans opt to defer the Lakers’ first-rounder they control until 2025.

Paul told ESPN that he’s still in the process of figuring out whose interest is real and whose isn’t as he considers potential workouts for Bronny.

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