Tuesday, July 16, 2024

LeBron James’ agent told teams not to draft son, Bronny, ahead of Lakers’ selection: report

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Bronny James is officially a member of the Los Angeles Lakers, and it appears that his agent, Klutch Sports founder Rich Paul, said whatever he could to deter other NBA teams.

Paul, who has long represented James’ superstar father, NBA all-time leading scorer LeBron James, was reportedly telling NBA teams not to draft the USC product, because he’d go play in Australia if they did. 

“Rich Paul’s calling teams and saying, ‘Don’t take Bronny James,’” said Bob Myers, the former GM of the Golden State Warriors, on ESPN’s NBA Draft show. 

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Los Angeles Lakers’ Lebron James and his agent, Rich Paul, look on during the BIG3 championship game between the Triplets and the Killer 3’s on September 1, 2019, at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, CA.  (Brian Rothmuller/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

“He’s saying, ‘Don’t take him. If you take him, he’s going to Australia. So he has a plan, and he has a place.”

This report from Myers came early in the second round, and he followed it up in a separate segment as the 55th overall pick by the Lakers got closer. 

“I think we can all imagine what the goal is for Rich Paul in that situation. There’s a difference between hoping that happens and making sure that happens,” Myers said. 

LAKERS SELECT LEBRON JAMES’ SON, BRONNY, IN NBA DRAFT 

If Paul’s plan was to make sure everyone picking above the Lakers in the second round didn’t think about James, then it was a major success. 

The James family was emotional, as one can imagine, when Bronny’s name was called by the Lakers at No. 55, and Paul was spotted sitting right next to him when it all went down. 

Bronny James throws up peace sign

Bronny James poses for a photo during the 2024 NBA Combine on May 13, 2024, at Wintrust Arena in Chicago, Illinois. (Kamil Krzaczynski/NBAE via Getty Images)

LeBron and Bronny have become the first-ever father-son duo to play in the NBA at the same time, and though the elder James has not made it official that he is returning to the Lakers next season, there’s a large incentive to do so, now that his son is aboard. 

That said, Bronny has been an intriguing NBA Draft prospect throughout this process due to his less-than-impressive freshman-year stats with the Trojans, which has many debating about whether his talent can develop into NBA-worthy play. 

While his athleticism and drive have been on display, Bronny hasn’t shown scouts and experts enough to deem him a promising NBA prospect. 

But who knows what James, who had a slow start to his freshman season after suffering a cardiac arrest in late July 2023, can accomplish with his father and the Lakers’ new head coach, JJ Redick?

Rich Paul and Bob Myers side by side

Bob Myers, ex-GM of the Warriors, reported that Rich Paul, longtime agent of LeBron James, had been telling NBA teams not to draft Bronny James before the Lakers’ pick. (Getty Images)

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NBA fans have always discussed what it would look like if LeBron and Bronny could be on the same team. That has now become reality, and Paul apparently did all he could to make it happen. 

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