2024 NBA Draft Odds: Lakers are heavy favourites to select Bronny James

Jordan Ramsay | Updated May 14, 2024

NCAA Basketball: Pac-12 Conference Tournament First Round USC vs Washington

Will we see a father-son duo on the court for the Lakers next season?

Bronny James is expected to stay in the 2024 NBA draft after being medically cleared to participate in the draft combine in Chicago. James suffered cardiac arrest during a workout last summer, which delayed his USC debut until mid-December, so getting cleared to play was obviously essential.

Originally projected to be a top 10 draft prospect, James’ stock has plummeted to a fringe second-rounder after an underwhelming freshman season.

Still, the 2024 draft is expected to be one of the weaker drafts in recent years and coupling that with LeBron James‘ clear desire to play with his son could mean a team takes a chance on Bronny in the hopes of landing LeBron.

So, which teams might select Bronny James in the draft? Let’s take a look.

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Bronny James draft odds

James didn’t have a great freshman year at USC. He missed the first eight games of the season before he was medically cleared to return and he finished the year coming off the bench in the final eight games.

James averaged 4.8 points. 2.8 rebounds and 2.1 assists while shooting 36.6 per cent from the field at USC, which isn’t exactly a stat line that screams ‘can’t miss future NBAer’.

At the draft combine, James measured 6-foot-1 without shoes and 210 pounds, which is undersized even for a guard, but his 40.5-inch vertical leap was the fourth-highest of any participant. He also had a standing vertical of 32 inches and he impressed in the three-point shooting drill.

If you look at it objectively, how many 6-foot-1 guards who averaged less than five points per game in college have been drafted? I’d wager not many. That brings us to the real reason James will probably be drafted: LeBron.

Where does LeBron fit in?

LeBron has made it clear for years that his main goal right now is to play with his son in the NBA. He has the ability to decline his player option and test free agency and he’s been very non-committal on playing for the Lakers next season, so that opens the door for teams to lure him away from L.A. by drafting Bronny.

The Cavaliers, 76ers and Knicks are all destinations that make sense for LeBron if he leaves the Lakers. It’s doesn’t take a genius to connect the dots with Cleveland. They drafted LeBron first overall in 2003 and he spent the first seven seasons of his career there before leaving for Miami. LeBron returned and led the Cavs to a championship in 2016. A third stint in Cleveland could make sense as they have a solid young core that would take a lot of the load off 39-year-old LeBron’s shoulders.

The Sixers continue to lurk around the LeBron conversation. They reportedly kicked tires on him at the trade deadline and they have room to sign him, which would create a terrifying combo with Joel Embiid. This route also makes sense if Bronny pulls out of the draft and transfers to play another college season in Pennsylvania at Duquesne.

The Knicks also make a lot of sense for LeBron. New York is another major market and it’s the only true rival to Los Angeles in terms of branding opportunities and legacy. It also doesn’t hurt that the Knicks are becoming a quality team and the addition of LeBron would instantly make them title contenders.

It’s clear that if a team wants to land LeBron, drafting Bronny will really help their case. My money’s on the Knicks. They own picks 24, 25 and 38 in the draft and they can offer LeBron a legacy opportunity to win a championship in New York while giving him a chance to play with his son.

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