Lakers maintain Bronny James NBA draft interest despite recent reports?

Tony Nguyen | Los Angeles Lakers
May 11, 2024

The James family has dominated basketball headlines recently, as per usual. Ever since the Los Angeles Lakers got ousted by the Denver Nuggets in the first round of the NBA playoffs, there has been tons of speculation about LeBron James’ plans.

Shams Charania of The Athletic provided updates on the matter Tuesday, via The Pat McAfee Show.

“LeBron James still, from everything I hear, wants to play up to two more NBA seasons,” Charania said. “The assumption around the league, and obviously the Lakers want to bring him back. The Lakers want to be in a position where if it is drafting Bronny (James) in the second round, they do have interest in bringing Bronny James in as a draft pick.”

Of course, LeBron has expressed multiple times that he’d love to play with his son, which could cause the Lakers to draft him to keep the elder James around longer.

“Bronny James is going to start his process at some point here,” Charania continued. “Either before the draft combine next week in Chicago to go work out for teams, or after the draft combine, but he has to get full clearance to work out. Obviously, he had the heart incident before his USC tenure last summer. So Bronny James is getting back on the court, we’ll see where he ends up in the draft.”

Bronny struggled in his freshman campaign with the Trojans after suffering a cardiac arrest in preseason practice. The 6-foot-4, 210-pound guard scored just 4.8 points per game on 36.6% shooting, with just 2.8 rebounds and 2.1 assists.

However, due to being the son of one of the greatest hoopers to ever live, he gets a leg up in the NBA scouting process. LeBron recorded 25.7 points on 54% shooting with 7.3 rebounds and 8.3 assists this past year, despite being 39 years old. With Los Angeles lagging behind the Western Conference’s upper-echelon contenders, the squad can ill-afford to lose him at this point.

Will the Lakers make LeBron’s father-son duo dream come true?

The Lakers must be rational with their NBA Draft approach

Southern California Trojans guard Bronny James (6) and Arizona Wildcats guard Pelle Larsson (3) battle for the ball in the first half at T-Mobile Arena.
© Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

In addition to considering drafting Bronny, Los Angeles is willing to give LeBron any contract he wants, via ESPN’s Dave McMenamin.

“The Lakers intend to have LeBron James come back on any term that he wants to,” McMenamin said on The Rich Eisen Show (16:15 mark). “Whether that be a one-year deal, two-year deal, three-year deal, whatever. They’d love to continue to have LeBron James in the purple and gold until he calls it quits, whenever that may be.”

Clearly, LeBron has the keys to the franchise for as long as he wants. However, Bronny is clearly not NBA-ready at this point, so he’d probably have to start in the G-League if the Lakers do draft him. Taking him at 17th overall would be a massive reach, and taking him at 55th overall may not be possible, as other teams could snag him before that.

As fun as it would be to have the NBA’s first father-son duo, it’s not worth stunting a young player’s development for the sake of keeping an aging star. The Lakers have plenty of factors to consider as they navigate the offseason, including their search of a new coaching staff.