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LeBron Speaks Out On Bronny James’ Draft Stock

Bronny James' draft stock has fallen quickly.

There’s been a lot made about Bronny James’ NBA draft stock, and specifically, if he should have any after this season. Whether fair or unfair, being the son of LeBron James means the spotlight will continuously be on him. Most recently, ESPN’s latest mock draft made waves having left out Bronny entirely. They did however include him on next year’s mock draft, insinuating a return for another year could be best. Naturally, this caused quite a stir throughout a variety of media platforms.

LeBron took to social media saying, “Can y’all please just let the kid be a kid and enjoy college basketball.”

He didn’t stop there either in a since-deleted response to a post on ESPN’s latest mock draft. “The work and results will ultimately do the talking no matter what he decides to do. If y’all don’t know he doesn’t care what a mock draft says, he just WORKS! Earned Not Given!” said James.

He also followed up his own original post with a message to all young athletes specifically regarding the draft process. “And to all the other kids out there striving to be great just keep your head down, blinders on, and keep grinding.”

This kind of response certainly begs two questions in most fans’ minds. How good is Bronny James and is he a legit NBA prospect?

LeBron Speaks Out On Bronny James’ Draft Stock:

Rough Start

It’s only fair to preface any analysis of James with the fact he suffered serious adversity before the season began. In late July during a team practice, James suffered cardiac arrest due to a congenital heart defect. Of course, this shook up not only the James family but the sports world in general. It was a relief to hear afterward that the condition was treatable, and James could expect a full recovery. Even still, James would go on to miss the first eight games of the season and most all pre-season preparation. Once back, he was still placed under a minute’s restriction as he got back into the swing of play. This irregular start to a college basketball career certainly isn’t ideal or conducive to any draft prospect regardless of name.

With all that being said, James has now played 19 games and let’s just say the stats don’t wow you. He’s averaging 5.5 points, 2.8 rebounds, and 2.5 assists per game while only shooting 37 percent from the field.

Is Bronny A Legit NBA Prospect?

Bronny James came out of high school as a blue-chip recruit ranked 20th overall in ESPN’s national rankings. James being a possible NBA prospect didn’t simply come from thin air.

In high school, James showed early on that he could be a knockdown perimeter shooter with good to great athleticism. He also competes enthusiastically on the defensive end of the floor and shines best as a team defender. James is also a high IQ player only averaging one turnover per game in college to 2.5 assists. He’s a ‘makes the right play’ type of player, and this is certainly James’ most similar attribute to his dad. This playstyle this season can be seen as ‘passivity’ however, and it certainly hasn’t helped James’ draft stock.

Obviously, James isn’t a perfect NBA prospect, and there’s a reason he’s being left off of mock drafts. From a scouting perspective, most would say James has two major concerns at the moment.

The first has to do with his size relative to position. While his father is what an NBA scout would build in a lab, James is an average six-foot-three and 210 pounds. If James were a point guard, this size would be perfectly acceptable. However, at almost every stage of his career, he’s primarily been more of an off-ball wing rather than a true point or combo guard. If he were to play on the wing at the next level, he would definitely be considered undersized. This isn’t to say that James can’t run the point position with time though if he continues to develop. Currently, he shares the court at USC with point guard Isaiah Collier, an NBA prospect who projects as a lottery pick.

Secondarily, scouts will want to answer another question when evaluating James. What elite trait does he possess? James is pretty good or decent at a lot, but he isn’t ‘elite’ in any one area. His closest elite trait would be his basketball IQ, but again, not being at the point guard position limits this stock. His lack of aggression this season and knack for fading into the background of games has also heightened this concern.

Final Thoughts

In all honesty, James has physical traits and a mold to buy into draft stock and become an NBA-level talent. He just isn’t there right now though. LeBron isn’t wrong in that ‘work’ is needed for James to become a legitimate NBA guard.

His best fit at the next level currently looks to be a role player who’s a complimentary guard impacting the game on both ends. This would be similar to a De’Anthony Melton, Jalen Suggs, or Derrick White type of mold. All of these players showed vastly better stats, usage, and aggression at the college level, however. Another factor is that three-point shooting became necessary to increase their effectiveness at the NBA level. As an average-sized guard, James will certainly need to show better shooting percentages to increase future draft stock.

ESPN’s analysis to leave James out of their mock draft and suggest a return to school is only right. Players in situations like James are perfect candidates to attempt a breakout year in their sophomore season. Returning could allow him to possibly take over at point guard and showcase to NBA teams what he can do with increased usage and aggression.

Critics and skeptics are something that the James family knows all too well, even if unfairly. If he wants to increase his draft stock, it will be on James to take his dad’s advice. He needs to block out the noise and continue to perfect his game. We can fully expect this though as James has been more in the media for other’s comments than his own.

Regardless of James’ last name though, his basketball future could be bright with continued improvement just like any other prospect.


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