Bronny James has decided to stay for NBA Draft and will not return to college

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Bronny James just had his last chance to use his remaining college eligibility and return to school, but he has decided to stay and try out for the 2024 NBA Draft. The news was first confirmed by his agent Rich Paul, who is also his father’s representative, as he anticipated hours ahead of this Wednesday’s deadline. 

“He’s staying in the draft,” said the Klutch Sports CEO. The USC freshman, who ESPN 100 is placing as the current No. 54 prospect, has elevated his profile after his first scrimmages alongside other future stars in the NBA Draft Combine.

After ranking second among 71 participants in two 3-point shooting drills and tested as one of the fastest athletes, he’s received a lot of positive feedback going forward, as the draft is already less than a month away.

“Bronny’s [draft] range is wide,” Paul told the press this Wednesday. “He’s a really good prospect who has a lot of room for growth. It only takes one team. I don’t care where that team is — it can be No. 1 or 58 — [but] I do care about the plan, the development. The team’s strategy, the opportunity and the financial commitment. That’s why I’m not doing a two-way deal. Every team understands that.”

Each franchise in the league has the possibility of offering 3 two-way contracts in addition to their 15 regular spots on their roster. These two-way deals limits players to 50 matches on a team’s active list with a salary equal to half the rookie minimum. It has become a common practice to offer these contracts to second-round or undrafted players.

Agent Rich also revealed that many clubs have been calling for Bronny, as he is defining a strategy for which franchises he would like the 19-year-old to be a part of their workouts this summer.

“We’re still figuring it out,” said LeBron’s representative. “Many teams have called. It’s a matter of hashing out workouts and figuring out who is real and who is not. There are only two or three teams that might take him. That’s how I am going to approach that.”

Despite many teams showing interest in James’ eldest son, everything points at him ending up with the Lakers

Maybe Bronny is still too young to be a full-fledged NBA rookie like Chet Holmgren, for example, but the fact that he’s LeBron’s eldest son changes everything. Despite many franchises already showing interest in him, there has been a lot of conversation around the teenager finally landing in a purple and gold uniform.

“The Lakers need to look at Bronny like everyone else,” Paul expressed this Wednesday. “If they value him enough and he’s there, that’s great. If it’s not the Lakers, that’s great. I won’t be mad if it’s not. It’s obvious that people hear the conversation around the dad and son playing together, but that’s not our focus. If it happens organically, great. I’m not building on that.”

His agent believes that he should be carefully on expecting too much of him, as he’s only played a single season in college basketball and still has a lot to prove to himself and everyone around him.

“I’m not putting unrealistic expectations on Bronny. He’s far from a finished product. But he has a hell of start. He’s positioned well. … I don’t see him not getting drafted, but if it got to a point where the situations didn’t make sense and we needed to go undrafted, that’s fine,” Rich shared.