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2024 NBA Draft Rumors: Possible trades, news, leaks, buzz including Bronny James to Lakers

With the NBA Draft just 24 hours away, rumors are flying furiously around the league, it’s hard to keep up with everything. Here are some hot topics and rumors heading into the 2024 NBA Draft.

Let’s start with a series of questions about Bronny James.

Does LeBron James want to play with his son?

Sure, but it’s not the priority it once was — and it’s fair to ask if it’s Bronny’s dream. (How many kids really want to go to work with their dad every day?) In previous years, LeBron said he wanted to play with Bronny a couple of times, which led some teams to think that if they drafted Bronny, they might get a package deal. LeBron toned that down this season. Then, LeBron and Bronny’s agent, Rich Paul of Klutch Sports, has worked to crush the concept, as he said in an interview with Jonathan Givony of ESPN.

“LeBron is off this idea of having to play with Bronny. If he does, he does. But if he doesn’t, he doesn’t.”

LeBron and Bronny are not a package deal. For example, there were rumors that the Suns might draft Bronny in hopes that LeBron would come there, but all Phoenix can offer LeBron is a veteran minimum deal (have fun asking him to take a $47 million pay cut).

“LeBron is also not going to Phoenix for a minimum deal. We can squash that now,” Paul said.

[Related: 2024 NBA Mock Draft - Full Rounds 1 and 2]

Will Bronny James be drafted in the first round?

No.

One should never say never around the NBA, but it is highly, highly unlikely Bronny hears his name on the first day of the draft.

Bronny is not NBA ready as a player and likely needs a couple of years of development — if a team doesn’t think LeBron is coming (see the above note), Bronny isn’t a first rounder on his own. His agent, Rich Paul, is doing everything he can to get Bronny a regular NBA contract — not a two-way deal — but being a first-round pick means multiple years of guaranteed money. Teams don’t want to be locked into Bronny for that long. The second round is where teams looking to roll the dice on a player pick up their guy.

Will the Lakers draft Bronny James?

Probably, although they are not the only team interested. The Lakers have the No. 55 pick in the NBA Draft (near the end of the second round) and that appears to be Bronny’s floor. The Lakers also could trade for a pick in the middle of the second round to make sure they get Bronny before another team.

However, other teams have some interest. Bronny worked out for Phoenix, Paul mentioned Minnesota and Dallas having interest, and a Toronto assistant GM said on Tuesday Bronny was in consideration for them.

[Related: 2024 NBA Draft format, picks, order, two-day format, rounds]

Will Donovan Clingan be drafted No. 1 overall?

Buzz has been building for a couple of weeks in league circles that the Atlanta Hawks are really high on Clingan after he had a strong workout for them. Atlanta is going to reshape its roster this offseason but if the Hawks plan to keep one of Trae Young or Dejounte Murray to stay competitive (retooling around the guard), picking the defensive center makes sense (it allows them to trade center Clint Capela and re-stock the roster).

However, French wing Zaccharie Risacher is still most likely to go No. 1 and appears to be on top of most NBA teams’ draft boards (and most serious mock drafts). Risacher is young and looks like he could develop into a prototypical NBA wing, a position around the league. Most teams would take him No. 1.

The betting markets still have Risacher as the favorite to go first (-260) with Clingan a distant second (+270).

If the Hawks keep the No. 1 pick — as GM Landry Fields said they likely would, but he’s listening to calls — they might take Risacher, but Atlanta might be happier trading down a few spots, still getting Clingan plus adding another pick or player in the swap.

Will Alex Sarr be drafted No. 1 overall?

It’s highly unlikely, he is almost a lock to the Wizards at No. 2. Any team that trades up to No. 1 wants Clingan or Risacher, not Sarr. While there are rumors that the Hawks are considering grabbing the French center, Sarr did not work out for Atlanta and multiple reports suggest this is just a smokescreen to try and get the Wizards to trade up a spot to get their guy.

[Related: Betting the 2024 NBA Draft]

Who could get traded at 2024 NBA Draft?

Brandon Ingram of the New Orleans Pelicans is at the top of that list.

Expect a flurry of trades during this year’s draft, but if you were going to bet on one player being moved it should be Ingram. The Pelicans have been actively testing the trade market for the wing who averaged 20.8 points a game last season but never fully meshed with Zion Williamson. The Pelicans are seeking players who better fit with their core plus they want picks. If Ingram isn’t moved at the draft he will be early in free agency.

Which teams are most likely to trade their draft picks?

Every pick is available at the right price, this is not a draft with a “you can’t pass him up” player. Hawks GM Landry Fields said he likes this draft and intends to keep his No. 1 overall pick, but admitted his phone is ringing and he’s still talking to teams.

Houston is the most likely team to trade its first-rounder. They want to become a playoff team now and would like to move the No. 3 pick to help bring in players who can do that (or push the draft pick down the road). There has also been talk about the Spurs combining their two picks (numbers 4 and 8) to get a player or move up in this draft. The same is true of Portland, with 7 and 14.

One other team to watch is Memphis, there is a lot of buzz about them trading down from No. 9, and if that happens watch for Miami with the No. 15 pick to try and move up, reports Jake Fischer at Yahoo.

Which team will draft Purdue big man Zach Edey?

There has been buzz that the Portland Trail Blazers — who have picks No. 7 and 14 — have interest in Edey. Portland at 7 also is seen as the absolute floor for UConn’s Clingan. Portland’s interest in Clingan and Edey is a little strange considering the Trail Blazers are already paying Deandre Ayton a lot of money to be their old-school center, and they have Robert Williams backing him up.

Utah at No. 10 and Sacramento at No. 14 both worked out Edey and reportedly were impressed, both are looking for a defensive center to soak up some minutes. If Edey drops to 15, the Heat might grab him, although it’s unlikely Edey will get past the Trail Blazers at 14 (unless they draft a center at 7 or make an unexpected move).

Nets trying to trade into this draft

Brooklyn traded away every pick in their race to build a win-now team and bring in Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving and James Harden then surround them with winning role players. No need to rehash how poorly that went, but it means the Nets are without a pick in this draft. The Nets trade of Mikal Bridges was the first big sign Brooklyn has pivoted and is starting a rebuild, so they want picks. SNY’s Ian Begley reports the Nets are confident they will find a pick they can deal for and become part of this draft.

[Related: NBA draft history: First overall picks, most MVPs, best classes]