Lakers Predicted to Land Son of LeBron James’ Former Star Teammate

LeBron James of the Los Angeles Lakers.

Getty LeBron James of the Los Angeles Lakers.

LeBron James has been in the league long enough to play with NBA father and son duos, and Michigan standout wing Jett Howard is being labeled as a potential fit alongside King James with the Los Angeles Lakers. James played with the Michigan star’s father Juwan Howard during his championship run with the Heat.

ESPN’s Jonathan Givony has the Lakers taking the younger Howard with the No. 17 pick in his latest 2023 NBA mock draft. The NBA analyst also has the Lakers snagging Illinois power forward Coleman Hawkins in the second round with the No. 47 overall pick.

“Surrounding Anthony Davis and LeBron James with competent teammates who can space the floor effectively, bring a strong feel for the game and have the positional size needed to play multiple positions has long been a priority for the Lakers,” Givony wrote on April 12, 2023. “Howard is one of the most prolific 3-point shooters in this class who also flashed impressive scoring versatility before injuries derailed his season. At 6-8, he can play either wing position and has upside to grow into multiple roles at just 19 years old.”

The Lakers Are Being Labeled a Potential Fit for Michigan’s Jett Howard in the 2023 NBA Draft

The Lakers will be keeping their own draft selection as the Pelicans have a higher pick meaning the franchise will not be exercising the swap option from the previous Anthony Davis blockbuster trade. Howard averaged 14.2 points, 2.8 rebounds and two assists while shooting 36.8% from long range during 29 starts with Michigan last season. The wing has the advantage of not only being the son of a former NBA All-Star but being coached by his father at Michigan as well.

“He was one of the most intriguing scorers for his age in college basketball this season,” The Athletic’s Sam Vecenie detailed on March 28. “His father, Michigan coach Juwan Howard, did a terrific job actualizing his game, running him through pro-style sets that included a ton of dribble handoffs and off-ball actions. These situations allowed Howard to take advantage of his shooting ability, which is by far his best skill at this stage.

“…The issue for Howard is that he doesn’t impact the game in any way beyond scoring at this point. He’s not an awesome passer, and he can’t really defend anyone – guards are too quick and forwards are too strong. He needs to either add some quickness or live in the weight room to gain strength to hold his ground better.”

Juwan Howard on LeBron James: ‘I’m So Proud of Him’

There is still plenty of time for things to change ahead of the NBA draft on June 22. Howard would be an interesting selection for the Lakers given James’ ties to his father. The Lakers star has been outspoken about his desire to play with his own son Bronny James, something that cannot happen until 2024 at the earliest. After James broke the all-time scoring record in February, the Michigan coach reflected on what he has learned from his former teammate.

“I know how hard it [winning a championship] is because it took me 17 [seasons] and I won it with him,” Juwan Howard told reporters on February 8, per’s Andrew Kahn. “I’m so proud of him. I’m so happy for him and his family.”