Bronny James pre-draft workout may have influenced Lakers interest

The Los Angeles Lakers recently hosted Bronny James for a pre-draft workout. James' performance may have influenced the likelihood that he'll play in L.A.
USC v California
USC v California / Ezra Shaw/GettyImages

USC Trojans guard Bronny James has been populating the Los Angeles Lakers rumor mill for quite some time. An intriguing prospect who entered the 2024 NBA Draft to a widespread response, James is generally viewed as a player who could be selected at either No. 17 or No. 55 overall.

With just over a week until the NBA Draft begins, the James to Los Angeles hype train is picking up steam once more.

James will enter the Association after playing his freshman season at USC. Despite measuring at a shorter height than expected, he turned heads at the NBA Draft Combine with an impressive wingspan and explosive athleticism that has some buying into his potential as a 3-and-D specialist.

According to Jovan Buha of The Athletic, James showed that two-way value in what has been described as an impressive pre-draft workout with the Lakers.

"James impressed the Lakers in his workout with his athleticism and intensity, according to team sources. The 6-foot-1 guard’s 3-and-D skill set appeals to the Lakers."

Assuming he's still on the board, the Lakers will have two opportunities to turn being impressed with James into making him a member of the roster.

At 6'1.5" and 210 pounds with a 6'7.25" wingspan, James has comparable measurables to Avery Bradley and Gary Payton II. Bradley and Payton, of course, earned reputations as top-tier on-ball defenders who use their length and strength to guard bigger players.

In terms of who he patterns his game after, James has cited Jrue Holiday, Davion Mitchell, and Derrick White—yet again, defensive-minded players.

That commitment to defense is certainly intriguing for a Los Angeles team that needs athleticism along the perimeter. The question on many minds is whether he can also develop an outside shot that can help him provide consistent offensive value.

James shot just 26.7 percent from beyond the arc as a freshman, albeit with a serious health scare costing him any realistic chance at developing a rhythm.

James shot well at the 2024 NBA Draft Combine, however, and was praised for his jumper coming out of high school. Adam Finkelstein, Director of Scouting at 247Sports, previously wrote:

"The best part of [Bronny James'] individual offense is his ability to shoot the ball from long-range. He has good mechanics and consistently knocks down open rhythm threes."

The Lakers seem impressed enough by his workout to believe that the 3-and-D potential he previously showcased is still a part of his upside.