NBA Exec Says He’d Advise Bronny James To Return To USC

Though no fault of his own, USC’s Bronny James may be the most-hyped player in college basketball this season.Bronny James, USC Trojans, NCAA

That’s just what happens when your dad is the most famous player in the world and an all-time legend.

But multiple team executives and scouts have told Hoops Wire over the past two months that James isn’t yet ready for the NBA. Some of that undoubtedly is the result of the heart scare he experienced before the season. Some of it has to do with his still-developing game.

And there’s no shame in staying in school and playing for another season as you try to prepare yourself for the next level.

“We would recommend Bronny go back to college,” an NBA team executive told Jeremy Woo of ESPN. “I’ll be honest, we didn’t have huge expectations for [Bronny] heading into the season. I know some mocks had him as a top-20 pick, but our group didn’t view him as a player of that caliber.

“I don’t know exactly what his role is going to be, and I think it’s hard to project him in a half-court setting. He doesn’t have great separation off the bounce, he’s not a really good perimeter shooter, so it’s going to be tough to unlock some of the creation, because I don’t think teams are going to get up on him defensively. They’ll probably allow him some space [until he proves it].

“I think it’s going to be more of a defensive bet, and it’s more of a wing profile. I think he’ll struggle with some of the quicker guards, he dies on some screens, it’s a work in progress.”

James is 6-foot-4 and averaged just 4.9 points and 2.9 rebounds for a Trojans team that was one of college basketball’s biggest disappointments. They finished 15-18 and aren’t likely headed to any sort of postseason tournament after getting drilled by Arizona in the Pac-12 quarterfinals.

“He’s a very smart player and has a solid feel for the game,” one NBA scout told Krysten Peek of Yahoo Sports. “He needs more time to develop, but the fundamental mechanics are there.”

Nonetheless, some have suggested that James will at least explore the idea of entering the 2024 NBA Draft. And why not? Given that his dad is LeBron James, you know teams will be taking a look.

“I think he’ll probably stay in this draft,” one NBA executive told Peek. “Should he go back for another year? Probably, but teams will take a serious look at him this year if he decides to stay in this draft class.”

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