Bronny James Cleared to Play in NBA amid LeBron James, Lakers Draft Rumors

Bronny James Cleared to Play in NBA amid LeBron James, Lakers Draft Rumors


LAS VEGAS, NEVADA - MARCH 14: Bronny James #6 of the USC Trojans looks on in the second half of a quarterfinal game against the Arizona Wildcats during the Pac-12 Conference basketball tournament at T-Mobile Arena on March 14, 2024 in Las Vegas, Nevada. The Wildcats defeated the Trojans 70-49. (Photo by David Becker/Getty Images)

David Becker/Getty Images

The NBA’s Fitness to Play Panel officially cleared USC guard Bronny James to play in the NBA after he underwent an examination ahead of this week’s scouting combine in Chicago.

Adrian Wojnarowski and Jonathan Givony of ESPN reported the league plans to inform teams Monday of James’ fitness. James went into cardiac arrest last year and underwent surgery to repair a congenital heart defect.

The eldest son of LeBron James struggled during his lone season at USC after returning to the court in December. He averaged 4.8 points, 2.8 rebounds and 2.1 assists per game while shooting 36.6 percent from the floor. Along with entering his name in the NBA draft, James is also exploring the transfer portal.

Shams Charania of The Athletic and Stadium reported Monday that James is currently expected to stay in the draft.

Charania, Jovan Buha and Sam Amick reported the Los Angeles Lakers are willing to explore drafting James to help keep his father in free agency. LeBron James once said he was determined to finish his NBA career playing alongside his son, but Wojnarowski reported last month that’s no longer a “priority.”

B/R’s Jonathan Wasserman did not have James being selected in his latest mock draft. He is also not among Wasserman’s 50 best players in the 2024 class.

While experts have sent James—once considered a potential lottery pick—plummeting down draft boards, it feels likely one team will wind up rolling the dice once draft day comes along. This is considered one of the worst draft classes in recent memory; there is no name in this class that will generate more headlines than Bronny James, even if he’s a late second-round pick.

Some believe James’ skill set will wind up translating better to the pro game. He’s a heady passer within the flow of the offense, a versatile defender and he plays with a high IQ. It’s unlikely he’ll ever develop into a superstar, but James has the hallmarks of a three-and-D role player if he can develop a more consistent jump shot.

Second-round picks are a dice roll. At the very least, adding Bronny would be a sales and interest driver for a front office.

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