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Bronny James is 'every bit the NBA prospect' teams wanted to see, per Jonathan Givony


USC G Bronny JamesRobert Hanashiro | USA TODAY Sports

One of the most intriguing prospects in the 2024 NBA Draft is Bronny James. The former USC standout and son of LeBron James, his destination will draw plenty of attention for multiple reasons – especially since his dad could become a free agent.

No matter who selects him, ESPN’s Jonathan Givony argued James is ready for the NBA game. He put together a strong pre-draft process, and it allowed him to showcase more of his skillset.

James had an up-and-down freshman season at USC last year, missing the beginning after suffering cardiac arrest during summer workouts. In 25 games, he averaged 4.8 points, 2.8 rebounds and 2.1 steals. But Givony said his workouts showed his ability to be a complete prospect, and that’s why he’s jumping out.

“Bronny James showed a different side of himself in this pre-draft process, starting at the NBA Draft combine testing as one of the best athletes in the draft, then as one of the best shooters in the shooting drills,” Givony said Wednesday night. “Then, he went to the 5-on-5 section of the combine and played exceedingly well. He showed his defensive versatility, he looked unselfish, he made shots, he showed his feel for the game.

“Bronny James is every bit the NBA prospect that NBA teams want to see. He’s going to get a guaranteed contract next year, which is why he did not work out for every NBA team. I’m excited for Bronny James to show people what we saw from him in high school, why he was a five-star recruit coming out of high school.”

James arrived on campus at USC as a highly touted recruit. A four-star prospect, he was the No. 25 overall prospect from the 2023 class, according to the On3 Industry Ranking, a weighted average that utilizes all four major recruiting media companies. On3 was the only service to rank James as a five-star.

As he prepared for the draft, though, James only worked out for two teams – the Los Angeles Lakers and Phoenix Suns. That was by design, as Givony said, because his agent Rich Paul wanted to make sure James got a guaranteed contract rather than a two-way deal.

As Wednesday’s first round gets underway, it’s unclear if James will be a first-round pick. The Lakers have two selections this year at No. 17 and No. 55, while the Suns pick at No. 22. If he falls into Thursday’s second round, though, there could be an opportunity for the Lakers to call his name and keep him close to home after playing at Sierra Canyon and USC.

The 2024 NBA Draft will start June 26 as the league moves to a two-day setup. Round 1 will take place on June 26 from Barclays Center and Round 2 will follow on June 27 from ESPN’s seaport studios in New York.

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