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Lakers Superstar Playing With His Son No Longer ‘A Priority’

Detailed view of the Los Angeles Lakers logo on the shorts of forward LeBron James (23) against the New Orleans Pelicans during the second half at Smoothie King Center.

ESPN Insider Adrian Wojnarowski revealed on Tuesday’s episode of NBA Today that Lakers superstar LeBron James playing with his son, Bronny James, is no longer considered his foremost priority.

Lakers Superstar Playing With His Son No Longer ‘A Priority’

James has been vocal about wanting to team up with his first son, Bronny, on an NBA team. In fact, it’s widely believed in NBA circles to be one of the major reasons he’s still playing professionally despite being 39 years old. So it’s a surprise hearing Wojnarowski state that this is not ‘a priority’ after having conversations with LeBron’s agent and childhood friend, Rich Paul.

“That the idea of them playing together is not a priority; it’s not foremost, at least any longer, in LeBron James’ mind,” Wojnarowski stated on NBA Today.

Bronny declared for the 2024 NBA draft while maintaining his college eligibility and entering the transfer portal. He is keeping all the cards on the table. He needed to do this after having a complicated year at USC.

Bronny just completed his freshman year as a Trojan after overcoming some heart issues early in the year. He suffered a cardiac arrest during a workout in July. He would make a full recovery and make his collegiate debut in December. Bronny played 25 games with six starts, averaging 4.8 points, 2.8 rebounds, and 2.1 assists.

Developmental Fit

Paul is more concerned with finding organizations that will commit to developing Bronny’s game.

“Rich Paul’s goal here in the pre-draft process for Bronny James is to see if there’s the right developmental system or organization, a place that can take a young player like Bronny James, who went five months without playing after his heart episode certainly limited him in his season at USC,” Wojnarowski said. “If he does go in the draft, he very likely would spend next year in the G League.”

Due to his extremely limited season at USC, there is a wide range of possibilities for how next year pans out for Bronny. The best option obviously has to help his growth into an NBA-ready pro. This will help him have a long, fruitful career. A player ending up in a bad scenario has derailed even the most talented of players. So, while LeBron, Bronny, and Paul all want him and his dad to team up, they can’t do that at the risk of Bronny’s career. Being the son of LeBron James, there is already immense pressure to succeed; it’s only logical to put him in the best position to find success.

The Last Word

From the Lakers’ perspective, they will be looking to trade their first-round pick to get talents that will close the gap between them and the other title contenders.

“I think what LeBron James, Bronny James, and Rich Paul said was if organically somehow they ended up together, that would be great,” Wojnarowski said. “But you look at the Lakers’ draft assets, No. 17, that’s a really important pick for the Lakers probably to use in a big trade. You’re not gonna use it on Bronny James at 17. And then they have No. 55. He could very well be gone by then.”

The Lakers have been in win-now mode since LeBron walked into the organization. They have prioritized assembling vets on the roster over developing young players. They drafted Jalen Hood-Schifino and Maxwell Lewis with the 17th and 40th picks in the 2023 draft, respectively. Max Christie was picked in the 2022 draft with the 35th pick. None of these players are regulars in the Lakers rotation. So, Los Angeles would be a questionable fit for Bronny.


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