Knicks Tabbed Among ‘Most Realistic’ Landing Spots for Bronny James

Bronny James

Getty Bronny James during a March 14 game against the Arizona Wildcats.

The seemingly inevitable draft selection of Bronny James is a top NBA storyline with the playoffs still in session. And the New York Knicks are among the discussed landing spots for the son of LeBron James.

In an article for Bleacher Report, Andy Bailey ranked landing spots for the 19-year-old ahead of the 2024 NBA Draft.

New York was listed third of six. In part, because he fits the archetype of player that head coach Tom Thibodeau gravitates to.

“In some ways, Bronny fits the profile of a Tom Thibodeau guard to a T,” Bailey wrote on May 24. “At 6’1.5″, he’s undersized. Despite being LeBron’s son, the number of fans and analysts betting against him makes him an underdog. Most importantly, he has the potential to be an NBA-level defender.”

James averaged 4.8 points, 2.8 rebounds, and 2.1 assists in his lone season with the USC Trojans. He’s considered an enigma ahead of the draft, in terms of his ceiling and draft range.

James to the Knicks at 38?

Leon Rose will enter the draft with three picks to make for New York: two in the first-round at 24 and 25, and a second-round pick at 38.

In an exclusive interview with Chris Haynes of Bleacher Report, Rich Paul, who represents both LeBron and his son, revealed the current consensus on Bronny’s draft range.

“Bronny’s range has been all over,” Paul told Haynes on May 24. “Some teams think he goes 20 to 40, some say 30-50, and some teams think he’ll go undrafted. It just takes one team.”

Bailey makes the case that the Knicks should take James with their second-round pick. For his development, he thinks the winning culture in New York is an excellent foundation.

“Bronny landing on the Knicks would probably mean a few years of waiting before he cracks the rotation,” Bailey wrote. “But spending those years learning from gritty guards like Jalen Brunson, Donte DiVincenzo, Josh Hart and Miles McBride would serve him well.”

Thibodeau inherited the Knicks in 2021 following a 21-45 season. Since, they’ve gone 175-143, and reached the playoffs in three of four years, and won two of five postseason series.

Drafting Bronny Could Mean Signing LeBron

What makes the idea of drafting Bronny even more appealing to teams is the hovering possibility that is LeBron joining them in free agency. He’s been vocal about his desires to play with his son.

Paul shot down the narrative in his interview with Haynes, citing a focus on working to get the 19-year-old draft ready.

“Well, LeBron said he wanted to play with his son,” Paul said. “Bronny can’t do anything about that. And that’s nothing we should push back on. If he wants to play with his son, that’s that. But again, I have a job to do representing Bronny and LeBron.”

James has a $51-million player option for the 2024-2025 season, and a June 29 deadline to make a decision.

But as a guest on an alternate stream of Game 2 between the Dallas Mavericks and Minnesota Timberwolves, Paul may have let James’ decision slip on national television.

“LeBron’s a free agent,” Paul said on May 24. “I gotta focus on his business … and let the Lakers hire who they want to hire. He’s always showed up and played for whatever coach is there.”

After averaging 25.7 points, 8.3 assists, 7.3 rebounds, and 1.3 steals in his 21st season, he could dictate free agency single-handedly if he declines his option. And it sounds like he’s going to, eyeing a chance to play with his son.

Whether in New York or elsewhere, teams will target Bronny with the added caveat of luring LeBron subsequently in free agency. The summer of the James’s is upon the NBA.

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