Bronny James NBA Draft Analysis and Humble Opinions

Last week news broke that LeBron James Jr. (Bronny) will be staying in the 2024 NBA Draft and not returning to school. After one middling year at USC in which he averaged just 4.8ppg on poor shooting splits the son of LeBron James will be joining his old man in the NBA…if he makes it to the league.

AP Photo

Let’s not be naive. He’s going to make a NBA team and he’s going to make it only partially off of his own merits and talents.

The truth is that Bronny is a very, very good player and a good prospect – who would not be considered a 2024 draft prospect if his name was Bronny Jones. If he wasn’t LeBron’s son he would still have a shot at making it to the NBA but more likely in another year or two. I’m not trying to be a hater (see below for plenty of praise) I’m just telling it like it is.

For the record, I’m a massive Bronny fan and I’m glad he’s in this draft – and I believe teams can, should and do draft players for reasons other than just their on the court abilities. What some might call nepotism can also be seen as loyalty or just plain-old good business sense.

Intangibles

I’ve watched a lot of Bronny’s games, interviews and public appearances over the years and he seems to be an incredibly level headed, humble and self aware young man. This is super impressive given how much attention, fame and money he’s had from a young age.

He seems like an awesome person off the court and a hard worker on the court. While he doesn’t have the elite NBA frame that his dad has he does have the same work ethic and drive. He promises to be a great teammate, a hard worker in practice and a guy who pours his support and energy into his teammates, even if he’s not getting big minutes.

One example of Bronny’s humility and self awareness is that in a combine interview he mentioned Davion Mitchell as a player he thinks he can be like in the NBA. He knows he’s not the next Kobe Bryant and that he’s going to have to play a specific role and excel in that role. He knows he’s going to have to defend at a high level and be a high energy, tough presence on the court. He also mentioned Jrue Holiday and Dereck White as players/roles he’ll try to emulate.

His humility and hard work will go a long way towards helping him make a NBA team.

NIL Millions vs. NBA Millions

Since Bronny decided to stay in this year’s draft we’ll never know what kind of NIL money he could have gotten if he had returned to school. My guess is that it would have been in the low single digit millions, like 3 million or so. Instead he’s jumping to the draft and will earn his bread from a salary… and plenty of endorsement deals.

You can bet we’ll see at least one commercial with Bronny and LeBron airing during NBA games.

Bronny’s Draft Combine Measurements And Performance

Bronny measured pretty much as expected coming in at 6-1 1/2 without shoes on and with a 6-7 1/4 wingspan. His 210 pound frame helps make up for his lack of height and his length helps a lot too.

During the athletic and skills testing portion of the combine Bronny had some really nice moments including an impressive 40 1/2 inch max vertical jump.

He also shot the lights out in the shooting drills, hitting 19 of 25 in the three-point star drill, including his final 12 threes. And he hit 17/22 from three in the side/mid/side drill. Being a high level 3pt shooter is a must for him to find a role in the league.

Bronny looked a little bit hesitant in the first scrimmage but turned things up in the second, moving more freely and comfortably on the court and putting in work on both ends. In the second game he scored 13 points on 4 of 10 shooting. He also had some really nice passes, not all of which ended up as assist in the box score. And a few unnecessary turnovers. He does need to cut down on some of mental errors and continue to develop his feel, handles and finishing, but he does show a lot of promise. And it was impressive to see him not only holding his own but making a lot of nice plays going against mostly older players.

Clean Bill Of Health

Back in the summer of 2023 Bronny suffered a cardiac arrest during a practice and there were questions about whether he’d be able to get back to competitive basketball. He did return mid season to play for USC and has now been given a clean bill of health and full medical clearance by the NBA. This is awesome news.

Bronny On The Las Angeles Lakers

The Las Angeles Lakers have the 55th pick in the 2024 NBA Draft. And with that pick, you guessed it, they will select one LeBron James Jr.

It seems to be written in the stars.

Picks at the end of the second round rarely produce a long term NBA player. The Lakers would have everything to gain and nothing to lose by selecting Bronny with their late second round pick.

If this does happen we can expect a few things: 1) a media circus to follow the father/son duo next season. 2) Bronny to split time between the Lakers and the South Bay Lakers (G League) and 3) some fun and historical LeBron to Bronny and Bronny to LeBron plays next season. These plays will be headlining SportsCenter and all over social media. It’s going to be really fun!

I hope I wasn’t too harsh in my evaluation and opinions expressed here. I’m fully and completely pulling for Bronny to make it. But I think it’s important to be honest about the various forces, incentives and politics at work here.

However we look at it’s going to super exciting to watch all of the drama unfold on draft night and beyond.

You can already guess where I have Bronny mocked in my latest 2024 Mock Draft

Bronny James NBA Draft Scouting Report


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