Bronny James goes unselected in first round of 2024 NBA Draft

Bronny James wasn’t considered a first-round pick by many people entering the 2024 NBA Draft. As it turns out some of those people were also in NBA front offices.

The eldest son of LeBron James, ranked by Yahoo Sports’ Krysten Peek as the No. 54 prospect in the draft, went unselected in the first round Wednesday. It’s not a huge surprise given where the younger James was ranked by most talent evaluators, but there was enough speculation that a team might select him to leverage his father that anything seemed possible.

Bronny now sits as by far the biggest name of Thursday’s second round, with the Los Angeles Lakers standing out as an obvious landing spot at No. 55 overall. LeBron’s agent, Rich Paul, has made it very clear the two aren’t a package deal, but the Lakers have still been linked to Bronny throughout the process.

Drafting Bronny and retaining LeBron, who could opt out of his contract soon, would give the Lakers the first on-court father-son combo in NBA history. The Lakers used their only other pick of the draft at No. 17 overall to take Tennessee’s Dalton Knecht, possibly the biggest steal of the draft.

Notably, Bronny worked out only for the Lakers and the Phoenix Suns before the draft. The Suns do not have a pick in the second round — they lost one due to a tampering violation — but they could still conceivably trade their way back in.

Otherwise, Peek has mentioned interest from the Toronto Raptors (No. 31), Minnesota Timberwolves (No. 37) and Dallas Mavericks (No. 58) in the 6-foot-2 combo guard.

Bronny James talks to media during the 2024 NBA basketball Draft Combine in Chicago, Tuesday, May 14, 2024. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)Bronny James talks to media during the 2024 NBA basketball Draft Combine in Chicago, Tuesday, May 14, 2024. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)

Bronny James’ draft process might be going according to plan. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)

Further complicating the situation is Paul saying he wants his new client to be selected only by teams willing to offer him a guaranteed deal. James is seen at this stage as a developmental prospect at best, having averaged only 4.8 points per game in a one-season USC career shortened by cardiac arrest, and that could discourage teams from taking a flier on him.

It’s hard to see a non-Lakers team selecting the younger James given all those self-imposed limitations, hence why so many people treat the Lakers taking him as a foregone conclusion. Now we wait to see if a team wants to spoil the fun.

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