According to a report, numerous NBA executives view Bronny James, who is set to make his University of Southern California debut later this week, as a potential late first-round selection. LeBron James’ son has yet to play college ball.
Bronny James, who suffered cardiac arrest during a workout in July, is anticipated to return to the court for his season debut against California State University, Long Beach on Sunday.
According to a report by Jeff Goodman from The Messenger, there is speculation that Bronny James may be selected in the late first round of this year’s NBA draft. He said this draft is perceived as weak in terms of talent.
“The hope is that Bronny can stay healthy and impact USC for the remainder of the season,” Goodman wrote. “The NBA execs I’ve spoken to have been intrigued by Bronny’s game and development, but most slotted him as a late first-rounder in a weak NBA draft. That was also prior to the heart issues.”
Bronny’s Draft Digest profile characterizes him as an undersized combo guard who makes up for his lack of height with a sturdy physique, athleticism and agility.
“He boasts quick, powerful vertical pop and moves well on both ends. Given his age and genetics, it’s worth monitoring James’ height moving forward as it wouldn’t be surprising to see him grow a few inches,” the report reads (via Sports Illustrated).
It also points out how his basketball IQ stands out for his age.
“He makes smart plays, has good vision and natural feel. He has been around the game his whole life and obviously had a mentor in his dad, who is one of the smartest players the game has ever seen.”
Why Bronny James could fall to second round
While certain scouts project Bronny James to be selected in the first round, there are reservations among others, as indicated by insights from scouts included in Goodman’s report.
“He’s a very good defender. Strong, athletic, good ball-mover, some potential as a shooter,” one scout said. “Limited ability to create his own shot. I don’t see him as a lottery pick or maybe even a first-rounder.”
Another NBA executive said LeBron James’ son should stay in college for another year.
“Personally, I think he should stay in college more than a year,” added one high-ranking NBA executive. “He needs more time, especially after what he just went through.”
In February, ESPN’s Jonathan Givony predicted that Bronny would be a top 10 pick in the first version of his 2024 NBA mock draft. However, by the second edition in June, James’ projection declined to the 17th overall pick. In the September edition, he was omitted from the list, indicating the influence of his health on his draft standing.