Bronny James officially declares for 2024 NBA Draft

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LeBron James
(Photo by Brian Rothmuller/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

LeBron James might finally get the chance to team up with his son in the NBA after all.

On Friday morning, USC freshman Bronny James announced on Instagram that he will be entering the 2024 NBA Draft with a heartfelt message. Just days prior, James announced he would enter the NCAA transfer portal for next season.

"I've made the decision to enter the NBA Draft, while maintaining my college eligibility, and will also be entering the NCAA portal," said James on his personal Instagram account. "Thank you to USC for an amazing Freshman year, and as always thankful for my family, friends, doctors, athletic trainers and fans for their support."

Bronny James, the son of NBA star LeBron James, finished his first season as a member of the USC Trojans. At 19 years old, James played just 25 of the Trojan's 33 games. 15-18 on the season, Bronny got the starting nod just six times. In his first year, he averaged 4.8 points, 2.8 rebounds, and 2.1 assists. He primarily earned a bench role this season, behind guards Boogie Ellis, and Isaiah Collier.

Bronny entered the NCAA Transfer Portal earlier this week

Recruited as a potential lottery pick in this year's draft, his numbers have decreased due to limited playing time. While he's the son of LeBron James, that may affect his draft stock. Either way, Bronny can hoop, and may need more time to prove that. But who knows, maybe NBA GMs have already seen his raw talent.

While averaging 19.4 minutes per game, Bronny had a standout performance during USC's loss to Oregon State in late December. Perhaps his most efficient game, James finished with 15 points on 6-11 shooting off the bench.

Considering all of his options, James revealed his decision to enter the NCAA transfer portal as well. While joining his father in the NBA would be groundbreaking, returning to collegiate basketball offers him the chance to hone his skills and gain more experience.

Former Trojans head coach Andy Enfield's move to the SMU Mustangs didn't catch many off guard. With his departure after an 11-year stint, it's expected that there will be significant changes to the roster. Coaching transitions can have a big impact on players, as evidenced by Nick Saban's departure from Alabama football. Since then, Eric Musselman, former Arkansas head coach, was hired to replace Enfield.

Bronny James overcame adversity this year

In a social media post, Bronny acknowledged the last year was filled with "some ups and downs." In late July, James suffered cardiac arrest, in which LeBron James revealed his son underwent surgery following a congenital heart defect. While his future was in doubt over the summer, he's since been cleared by doctors to return to the game he loves the most.

The 6 foot 4 guard returned to USC, making his collegiate debut against Long Beach State on Dec. 10.

According to the Athletics Shams Charania, his decision to declare for the draft while maintaining NCAA eligibility will give James multiple options. He added James will "work out for and visit NBA teams and make a decision based on evaluation."

A four star recruit out of Sierra Canyon, James was named an All-American in high school. With his future in the air, it's possible he gains experience in the G-league before heading to the stage. LeBron James has shown interest in playing alongside his son in the NBA, but it might be better for Bronny to go back to NCAA basketball.

Returning to college would give him a chance to gauge NBA expectations and his own skills against others. Plus, he'd have many recruiting opportunities if he chooses to return to college. While he will workout for NBA teams, he will have until Jun. 16 to withdraw from the NBA Draft.

LeBron James: “I got to be on the floor with Bronny"

Shortly after Bronny James entered the NCAA transfer earlier this week, LeBron gave his thoughts to Lakers reporter Jovan Buha following the Lakers 128-111 victory over Toronto.

"Bronny is his own man," said James. "He has a tough decision to make.  When he’s ready to make those decisions he’ll let us all know. But as his family, we’ll support whatever he does."

No matter the outcome, Bronny is supported by the King himself, who is slated to become a free agent at the end of the year. While his future remains up in the air, he has the talent to play in the NBA.

If Bronny does choose to continue his career in the NBA, both he and LeBron will have the chance to make history. They would be the first father-son duo to play in the NBA simultaneously.

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Sara Jane Gamelli is a full-time Sportswriter, Content Creator and Social Media Manager for Ballislife Bets. She has a focus on the NBA, WNBA, NCAA Basketball, and the NFL. Sara Jane currently resides in Connecticut/NYC area with her Cat and Dog. SJ has her undergraduate degree from the University of Connecticut in Economics, with a minor in business administration.


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