Bronny James NBA draft stock soaring after NBA Combine, could go surprisingly high

Bronny James
Credit: David Banks-USA TODAY Sports

The Bronny James draft projection has varied wildly over the last year. After enrolling to play basketball with the USC Trojans, LeBron James’ eldest son was viewed as a potential lottery pick. However, a difficult freshman season tanked his draft stock dramatically.

James recovered from a cardiac arrest over the summer while practicing with USC, which briefly threatened his basketball career. The Trojans’ guard returned to the court in December, but was largely unproductive and inconsistent in his first season at USC.

Related: NBA insider reveals where Bronny James will likely spend rookie season

  • Bronny James college stats (ESPN): 4.8 PPG, 2.8 RPG, 2.1 APG, 36.6% FG. 26.7% 3PT

Following his first collegiate season, James was widely viewed as an undraftable player who needed another year in college to develop his game before entering the NBA Draft. Instead, after entering his name in both the NCAA transfer portal and declaring for the 2024 NBA Draft, James focused his attention on draft preparation.

The 19-year-old entered the NBA Combine needing to prove he at least has the elite athleticism to suggest he can project well to the NBA. Otherwise, a poor showing at the scouting combine might’ve guaranteed that he went undrafted.

Related: Bronny James NBA Draft landing spots

At the NBA Combine, per ESPN, James showcased great touch in drills by going 19-for-25 from the perimeter. He also put on display some NBA-level length (6-foot-71/4 wingspan) and excellent athleticism for his size. Thanks to all of that and a strong performance in 5-on-5 drills, his draft stock has soared.

In fact, per Dan Woike of the Los Angeles Times, multiple NBA team executives reportedly think Bronny has earned first-round consideration ahead of the 2024 NBA Draft.

Related: Charles Barkley’s take on Bronny James on same team as LeBron James

Importantly, part of that is reportedly teams believing that spending a first-round pick on LeBron’s eldest son would give them a higher chance at landing the future Hall of Famer in NBA free agency. However, recent NBA news has made it fairly clear that drafting Bronny isn’t going to be a strong incentive for James this summer.

One thing that’s clear is James is now viewed as a top-50 prospect, easily worth being selected in the second round. The teenager will also have an opportunity to elevate his stock further during the pre-draft workout thanks to private workouts with teams.

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