Lakers favored in odds to select Bronny James in 2024 NBA Draft

The Los Angeles Lakers are the favorite to select USC guard Bronny James in the 2024 NBA Draft.
USC Trojans guard Bronny James.
USC Trojans guard Bronny James. / Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports

University of Southern California guard Bronny James, the son of Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James, entered the transfer portal and declared for the 2024 NBA Draft following his freshman season. 

The younger James struggled in his first season in the collegiate ranks, averaging just 4.8 points, 2.8 rebounds and 2.1 assists per game for the Trojans while shooting 36.6 percent from the field. 

However, he is the son of one of the greatest players in NBA history, and the Lakers star has expressed a desire to play with his son in the NBA. Would Los Angeles be willing to draft the USC product in the 2024 NBA Draft to keep LeBron happy? 

According to the oddsmakers at FanDuel Sportsbook, it’s quite possible. 

Odds to draft Bronny James in 2024 NBA Draft

  • Los Angeles Lakers: +400
  • New York Knicks: +800
  • Miami Heat: +1200
  • Cleveland Cavaliers: +1200
  • Atlanta Hawks: +1400
  • Chicago Bulls: +1700
  • Philadelphia 76ers: +1700
  • Golden State Warriors: +2100
  • Oklahoma City Thunder: +2400
  • Dallas Mavericks: +2400
  • New Orleans Pelicans: +2400
  • Memphis Grizzlies: +2400

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Based on these odds from FanDuel, the Lakers have an implied probability of 20.0 percent to take Bronny James in the 2024 NBA Draft if he remains in the draft.

While some Lakers fans may not like this, especially with the team looking to contend for a title late in LeBron’s career, it may be necessary to keep him on the roster.

The four-time champion can opt out of his contract this offseason, and if another team selects the younger James, he may explore the possibility of joining that team to fulfill his dream. Still, it’s hard to see a team using a high draft pick on the young James, even if it did mean LeBron would come to the franchise. 

Do the Lakers have a draft pick in the 2024 NBA Draft?

The Lakers have their own second-round pick in the 2024 NBA Draft, but there’s a chance they may have their first as well.

Even though the Lakers moved their 2024 first-round pick in the Anthony Davis trade, the New Orleans Pelicans could defer using this pick until 2025, which would give the Lakers their first-round selection this season. 

According to The Ringer’s Kevin O’Connor, it’s actually quite possible that this happens. 

“As a result of the Anthony Davis trade, the Lakers will lose their first-round pick to the Pelicans either this year or next,” O’Connor wrote. “People around the league expect that the Pelicans will give the Lakers their pick this year and take the 2025 pick.”

Despite the fact that they may have a first-round pick in 2024, the Lakers may not look to use that on the younger James. 

“If that’s the case, it’s hard to fathom that Los Angeles would use the pick on Bronny,” O’Connor wrote. “Rob Pelinka is far more likely to use it to chase Trae Young or another star in a trade.”

Bronny James 2024 NBA Draft outlook

Recently, the USC product has been compared to some defensive-minded guards such as Patrick Beverley, Norris Cole and Davion Mitchell, according to O’Connor. 

“Instead, James projects as more of a disrupter,” O’Connor wrote. “Comparisons that came up in these conversations include Patrick Beverley, Davion Mitchell, and Norris Cole. Beverley has had the longest career of the three because he’s the best shooter (37 percent from 3 in his career).”

It’s hard to imagine a team using a first-round selection on the younger James if this is his upside, but there is always the caveat that the NBA’s all-time leading scorer would come with him. 

Why would the Lakers draft Bronny James

For the Lakers, the reason to draft Bronny at some point in the 2024 NBA Draft is simple:

Keep LeBron happy. 

Los Angeles doesn’t know how long the 20-time All-Star will be at the top of his game (he’s averaging 25.5 points, 7.2 rebounds and 8.2 assists per game this season), but it also doesn’t want to lose him by letting his son go somewhere else. 

If the Lakers can get the USC guard in the second round, or bring him in as an undrafted free agent, it makes a lot of sense. But, if the Lakers are being asked to use a first-round pick, it’s hard to see the franchise drafting the younger James over trying to truly upgrade the roster.

Odds refresh periodically and are subject to change.