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Bronny James Works Out For West Contender, More to Come?

Bronny James, 2024 NBA Draft prospect

In scheduling workouts for only the Los Angeles Lakers and Phoenix Suns, 2024 NBA Draft prospect Bronny James telegraphed his desire to play for a Western Conference contender.

Neither team has a particular need for James. They haven’t shown much in the way of player development either. However, James’s father has established relationships with both front offices. After spending six seasons with the Lakers, he became friendly with owner Jeanie Buss. He played alongside Suns general manager James Jones for seven seasons, winning three championships with him. As a result, James may have a greater belief in those franchises genuinely desiring to see him do well in the NBA. Indeed, Klutch Sports CEO Rich Paul has said he cares more about what team drafts his client than when he gets drafted.

Bronny James Works Out For West Contender, More to Come?

The Stein Line’s Marc Stein recently relayed a message from Paul, who says “that there are ‘a few more’ invites under consideration they are still evaluating for potential workouts.”

The other teams that offered James predraft workout invites weren’t revealed. However, the Utah Jazz and Philadelphia 76ers have been linked to James. The Cleveland Cavaliers may be interested in James as well, given that the Ohio native’s father still holds significant sway in Ohio. Lastly, the New York Knicks are an interesting option, given their emphasis on defensive skill.

The King or the Prince?

Like the Lakers and Suns, the Jazz, Sixers, Cavs, and Knicks could simply be making a chess move that allows them to take the king off the board in free agency.

Nonetheless, the Jazz are in a rebuild and there are questions abound about their backcourt situation. The Cavs accelerated their rebuild after trading for All-Star guard Donovan Mitchell in 2022. Still, they’ve largely uilt their team through the draft. That said, Utah and Cleveland may have real interest in James’s potential as a lead guard or 3-and-D wing.

Indeed, Los Angeles, Phoenix, Philadelphia, and New York could value James for that same reason. Furthermore, James’s on-ball defense is his most translatable skill. With his feel for the game and his perimeter defense, he can be a glue guy for NBA teams. He just has to prove that he can knock down open shots. To play point guard full-time, he has to improve his ball-handling.

James isn’t NBA-ready right now, but he’s not as far off. As a result, it’s important to discuss James as a prospect rather than offseason bait. Of course, several teams will put him on the hook in hopes of getting the big fish. Nonetheless, using a draft pick on an unlikely gamble is a waste of finite resources. To that point, the team drafting James better make sure they actually want the prince, not just the king.


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