Bronny James isn't a top-25 college recruit, but his NBA prospects appear to be much better.
An NBA mock draft from ESPN's Jonathan Givony has LeBron James' oldest son as a top-10 pick in 2024, going No. 10 overall to the Orlando Magic.
"Some might be surprised to see James, ranked anywhere from 28 to 43 by the major recruiting services, as a potential top-10 pick," Givony wrote. "James has earned his spot in lottery conversations with the significant jump he has made at Sierra Canyon in Chatsworth, California, this season, developing into arguably the best perimeter defender in his high school class while making strides in his perimeter shooting and playmaking ability.
"As most of his peers have flatlined the past 12 to 18 months, James has grown, filled out his frame, found another gear with his explosiveness and become an absolute terror off the ball defensively thanks to his outstanding intensity and feel for the game. He still has plenty of room to improve his ballhandling and pull-up jumper to become a more prolific and efficient shot creator, but he has already caught the eyes of NBA decision-makers with the way he contributes to winning and likely will continue to grow and fill out his game."
Bronny, 18, is a four-star recruit ranked No. 33 in the 247Sports Composite for the class of 2023. The 6-foot-3 point guard from Sierra Canyon High School is yet to commit to a college but has received offers from the likes of Kentucky, Memphis, Michigan, Ohio State, Oregon and USC. The Los Angeles Times reported last month that his top three choices are Ohio State, USC and Oregon.
If Bronny truly has top-10-pick potential, that spells bad news for the possibility of him and his father teaming up on the Los Angeles Lakers.
The New Orleans Pelicans have the option of receiving the Lakers' first-round pick in either 2024 or 2025 as a result of the Anthony Davis trade. And if Los Angeles finishes in the lottery next season, New Orleans would likely opt to take that pick.
But that doesn't mean the two wouldn't be able to join forces elsewhere.
LeBron, 38, has the ability to become a free agent in the 2024 offseason by opting out of his $50.7 million player option. Since LeBron has expressed an eagerness to play with his oldest son, it wouldn't be surprising if drafting Bronny also comes with the free-agent addition of the NBA's all-time leading scorer.