Bronny James’ agent confirms player will remain in NBA Draft

An agent for Bronny James, son of hardwood icon LeBron James, confirmed his client will enter the NBA Draft and seek to be the first father and son to play simultaneously in the league.

The deadline to enter the draft is 11:59 p.m. on Wednesday and agent Rich Paul removed any doubts that the younger James, who played just one season on a losing University of Southern California team, might not enter the annual draft.

Paul said his client would not accept a “two-way” contract which could have James bouncing between the NBA and developmental league.

“He’s a really good prospect who has a lot of room for growth. It only takes one team,” Paul told ESPN. “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.”

The NBA’s all-time leading scorer LeBron James appeared to confirm Paul’s statement by writing on Instagram, “BRONNY STAYING IN DRAFT!”

While there have been a slew of fathers and sons to play in the NBA — most notably Kobe and Joe “Jellybean” Bryant and Steph and Dell Curry — none of those combos ever played at the same time.

And if Bronny James catches on with any team, he’ll enter the league with far less critical acclaim than Bryant or Curry.

The younger James is No. 54 on the ESPN Draft rankings.

Bryant was picked No. 13 in the 1996 draft before he was traded to the Los Angele Lakers while Curry was the overall No. 7 selection of the Golden State Warriors in 2009.

The 6-foot-4 James played in 25 games for USC (15-18) this past winter, starting six of them and averaging 4.8 points per contest.

Just getting on to the floor was a major achievement for James, who months earlier had collapsed on the USC Galen Center court  in what turned out to be a cardiac arrest.

He suffers from a congenital heart defect, a family spokesperson said in August, but he’s been cleared to play basketball.

The elder James has to decide by June 29 whether he’ll exercise his option to remain with the Lakers.

Despite playing in a 39-year-old body that’s logged 21 grueling NBA seasons, James still remains one of the league’s best players.

He averaged 25.7 points, 8.3 assists, 7.3 rebounds and 1.3 steals a game in 2023-24 and even added a lethal outside shot to his game. James hit 41% from 3-point shots this past season, a career high.

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