Big Update on Lakers Possibly Drafting Bronny James

Bronny James

Getty Bronny James of the USC Trojans looks on during a game on February 7, 2024.

The Lakers traded three first-round picks to the Pelicans as part of the Anthony Davis trade in 2019, and the last of those picks, an unprotected 2024 first-rounder, is likely to be deferred to 2025.

According to The Ringer’s Kevin O’Connor, the Pelicans don’t intend to use the Lakers’ first-round pick this year. As a result, the Lakers will have their 2024 first-rounder.

Could the Lakers use the pick to draft Bronny James?

O’Connor has learned that the Rob Pelinka-led front office is more likely to use the pick as a trade chip.

“People around the league expect that the Pelicans will give the Lakers their pick this year and take the 2025 pick,” O’Connor wrote on April 10. “If that’s the case, it’s hard to fathom that Los Angeles would use the pick on Bronny. Rob Pelinka is far more likely to use it to chase Trae Young or another star in a trade.”

If the Lakers use their first-rounder — projected to be 14th or 15th — in a trade for a star, they’d still have a late second-rounder to draft Bronny. That is, of course, if another team doesn’t snatch up the son of LeBron James.

Could Another Team Draft Bronny James?

To that end, O’Connor floated the idea of teams such as the Warriors or Knicks drafting Bronny just to lure his father to link up as a free agent. Yet, most insiders expect James to finish his storied career in a Lakers uniform, and feel that his upcoming free agency (July 1) would see the 39-year-old sign his final contract in the NBA.

If the chips fall as they may, the possibility of Bronny sporting Lakers colors is something a lot of insiders and former players are speaking into existence.

While reacting to the news of Bronny entering the 2024 Draft, Celtics legend Paul Pierce made a bold prediction for the 2024-25 season.

“One of two things could happen. [Bronny] could either get drafted or picked up as a free agent by the Lakers,” Pierce said on the April 5 episode of Undisputed on FS1. “As a free agent or through the draft, he’s going to be on the Lakers,” he declared.

Projected as an Elite NBA Defender

While Bronny’s production of 4.8 points, 2.8 rebounds and 2.1 assists as a freshman in college doesn’t scream “star talent,” many current and former players believe the LeBron namesake has a ton to offer — especially on the defensive end.

Warriors star Draymond Green believes Bronny has the skill set to be an elite 3-and-D guard in the NBA.

“At worst, Bronny is an NBA-level defender that can knock a shot down,” Green said on “The Draymond Green Show” on April 10. “A 3-and-D guy — we got those all over the NBA. He can pressure the ball… he can be a backup point guard that can pick up full-court and put pressure on another team’s lead guard.”

Green also defended Bronny’s lackluster shooting splits of 36/27/67 in college, expressing confidence that the 19-year-old would fare better in the pros.

“He didn’t shoot the ball great [in college] but his mechanics are great,” Green said.

Former NBA All-Star Baron Davis shares a similar opinion and feels that Bronny’s skillset would translate to the NBA.

“From what I’ve seen from Bronny, he’s an athletic, smart point guard. He can shoot the ball. So, if I was him, I’d try my hand [at the draft] too,” Davis told TMZ on April 7.

The inaugural two-day NBA Draft will take place on June 26 and 27, 2024.

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