Bronny James to Stay in Draft, Not Returning to USC

  • Bronny James, the son of NBA star LeBron James, declared for the draft and entered the NCAA transfer portal in March.
  • While he was thought to be outside looking in at being selected, James had a strong NBA combine and has moved into the fringes of the draft.
  • James’ agent, Rich Paul, announced on Tuesday that the USC guard would forgo his college eligibility and remain in the NBA Draft.

Bronny James is the biggest name going into the NBA Draft, despite not being near the top of the draft board. The son of LeBron James has garnered a lot of attention since starting his basketball career, from his high-school career at Sierra Canyon, to an issue-plagued year at USC.

The hopes of James getting drafted weren’t that high when he was medically cleared to enter the NBA Draft. He went into cardiac arrest in August 2023, and it was up in the air whether he would be able to play at USC. However, James was eventually cleared and played 25 games in one season at the University of Southern California.

James didn’t have a good year at USC, averaging 4.8 points, 2.8 rebounds, and 2.1 assists in 19.4 minutes with the Trojans. But it looks like he’s emerged as a draftable prospect. We could get to see James walk to the stage and shake NBA Commissioner Adam Silver’s hand on June 26th or 27th.

Paul Reveals James Will Stay in Draft

Rich Paul, the CEO of Klutch Sports, told ESPN on Tuesday night that the younger James would be staying in the draft, forgoing the rest of his college eligibility. Of course, Paul has known Bronny for his entire life, as he is one of LeBron James’ best friends. Both LeBron and Bronny are now represented by Klutch Sports.

James had been looking into the possibility of transferring from USC, but he and his team have chosen to go to the draft. He had a strong combine in early May as James showed improved outside shooting. He’s not the athlete that his father was, but James is still one of the most explosive guys in the draft. This will be crucial for Bronny’s chance to make up for his size.

His year at USC left a lot to be desired, but there were plenty of issues outside of James. The Trojans missed the NCAA Tournament with a record of 15-18. Head coach Andy Enfield left for SMU after the season. James was also behind two better players in Boogie Ellis and Isaiah Collier, and his heart issues halted his progress early in the season.

Where Could James Land in the Draft?

Paul knows that anything could happen with James in the draft:

“Bronny’s (draft) range is wide. 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.”

It shouldn’t be a shock to anyone that the Los Angeles Lakers are most likely to draft James, given that they want his father to stay with the team. But Paul stated that they would be working out with other teams. The Athletic’s Shams Charania reported that James would work out for the Phoenix Suns ahead of the draft.

He probably won’t be near the top of the NBA Draft odds to go in the top 10. James might not even go on the first day, as the NBA Draft is a two-day event. However, it feels like someone is going to give the younger James a chance to play in the NBA, and potentially, with his father.

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Elliot Nield
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Elliot Nield has worked in the online gambling industry for almost two decades, and while his focus is on sports, he doesn't mind a few hours on the poker felts and the blackjack tables. In his spare time, Elliot can be found cheering on Manchester United and the Kansas City Chiefs, and praying that Patrick Mahomes stays healthy forever.

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