Basketball fans are eagerly anticipating Bronny James' entry into the NBA since it will impact where his father, LeBron James, takes his talents, but one school of thought suggests Bronny would benefit from additional seasoning before making the jump to the NBA.
According to Jason Lloyd of The Athletic, one talent evaluator said Bronny would be best off playing "two or three years" of college basketball before entering the draft.
Bronny, who stars at Sierra Canyon School in Chatsworth, California, will have to make a decision on his basketball future in 2023, which is when he is set to graduate from high school.
On 247Sports' composite rankings, Bronny is rated as a 4-star recruit, the No. 34 overall player, No. 6 combo guard and No. 4 player from California in the 2023 class.
Those rankings suggest Bronny has a solid shot at going to a top college and contributing immediately, although his plans remain unclear.
It has long been assumed that LeBron would move heaven and earth to play alongside his son in the NBA, and the four-time champion, MVP and Finals MVP confirmed as much during All-Star Weekend in Cleveland.
In an interview with Lloyd, James said: "My last year will be played with my son. Wherever Bronny is at, that's where I'll be. I would do whatever it takes to play with my son for one year. It's not about the money at that point."
As of now, unless the rules change, Bronny is not eligible to be drafted until 2024.
That means he could spend the 2023-24 season playing in college, overseas or in the G League, or he could even take the year off.
The G League has become a popular alternative for prospects who don't want to be one-and-done collegiate players.
Jalen Green of the Houston Rockets and Jonathan Kuminga of the Golden State Warriors both played for the G League Ignite squad last season before being top-10 picks in 2021.
The G League is effective at preparing players for the NBA, but if Bronny needs multiple years of preparation as the anonymous talent evaluator suggests, playing at a top-flight college program could be his best bet.
One fact worth considering is how long LeBron intends to play, as he is currently 37 and in his 19th season.
Injuries have nagged him at times in recent years, but he is still playing at an elite level, averaging 29.1 points, 7.9 rebounds and 6.5 assists per game.
He may not be in any hurry to retire, which could mean he would be willing to wait a few years while Bronny attends college.
LeBron will become a free agent after the 2022-23 season, though, and Bronny committing to enter the draft in 2024 would make it easier for LeBron to set himself up to become a free agent again during Bronny's draft year.
Bronny may not be fully NBA-ready by 2024, but the allure of landing LeBron in addition to Bronny should ensure that a team takes a chance on him regardless.
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