One general manager doesn’t care if LeBron James joins his team. But he likes Bronny James‘ upside.
“I’d sure take a flyer on him, not in the lottery or anything, but at least in the second round,” the GM told Hoops Wire.
James, a freshman guard at USC, is the most discussed player in college this season. Let’s face it, he can have his dad to thank for that.
But people who have gotten to know Bronny the person have been impressed. “All class,” one scout told Hoops Wire earlier this season. “Just a really good kid. They raised him right.”
As for James the player, there is a sense that he is still working his way back from a heart scare before the season, when he collapsed during a workout at USC. Since then, everything has checked out.
“I think he’ll be better at the end of the season than he is now,’ the GM said. “It might take him some time, understandably so.”
James scored 11 points with six assists and five rebounds in USC’s loss to Arizona on Wednesday. But he also committed five turnovers and missed six of his final eight shots. The Trojans (8-10) have been a major disappointment this season.
All of those things are working against James when it comes to the 2024 NBA Draft. Right now, the GM has him pegged as a late second-round pick.
LeBron has indicated he will sign with whichever team drafts Bronny. It’s hard to know if LeBron is actually serious about that — but he is serious when expressing the idea of wanting to play with his son. Who wouldn’t?
But the GM told Hoops Wire that the possibility of LeBron joining his team would have no impact on whether the GM drafted Bronny.
For the season, Bronny is averaging 5.8 points and 2.5 rebounds, with his best play coming on the defensive side of the ball. He receives as much criticism as he does praise on social media, but the GM who spoke to Hoops Wire doesn’t worry about that.
“It’s a good thing no one drafts based on what they read on Twitter (now X),” the GM said, laughing. “There are intangibles we look at beyond scoring, and Bronny undoubtedly has some of those.”