Major Lakers updates on Bronny James and 2024 first-round draft pick

The Los Angeles Lakers have been linked to 2024 NBA Draft prospect Bronny James for years on end. Recent updates shed light on how strong the interest is.
USC v Arizona
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The Los Angeles Lakers have been linked to USC Trojans guard Bronny James since he was a high school player first emerging on the college basketball radar. Fast forward to 2024 and James has again surfaced as prospect to whom the Lakers are perpetually linked.

With the 2024 NBA Draft drawing closer, two massive updates have shed light on how legitimate the James to Los Angeles hype actually is.

James is expected to be selected at some point in the 2024 NBA Draft, with Jonathan Givony of ESPN giving him a second-round grade. The Lakers could have two opportunities to add him to their roster, with both the No. 17 and No. 55 overall selections seemingly in play.

A crucial update has shaken that projection up, as NBA insider Marc Stein reports that James has responded to his workouts with the Lakers and Phoenix Suns by adding more teams to his list of potential in-person visits.

"Bronny James, to this point, has planned to restrict his in-person visits before the draft to two teams: The Suns and the Lakers. However ... Bronny's agent Rich Paul told The Stein Line that there are "a few more" invites under consideration they are still evaluating for potential workouts."

Perhaps it's reading too much into this report, but one could connect the dots and discern that James has heard from the Lakers and Suns that they may not take him in the first round.

James' freshman season was greatly impacted by the fact that he went into cardiac arrest mere months before the college basketball campaign could kick off. It cost him months of practice and inevitably impacted his quality of play once the games began.

Even still, his remarkable athleticism and willingness to prioritize defense have made him a player who's earning interest from around the NBA.

With this in mind, it's still been believed possible that the Lakers could utilize the No. 17 overall selection to land James. He's made it clear that he aspires to play a role similar to Derrick White, which may just be enough to persuade the Lakers considering the success of the Boston Celtics.

According to Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN, however, the Lakers are not currently considering James as an option at No. 17 overall.

"The Lakers, to my understanding, they're not considering Bronny James at No. 17. There's no reason to take him at 17. If you wanted to take him earlier than 55, you could move up some places, but you are just giving away value."

Much could change between now and June 26, but this is a potentially massive development as far as the Lakers' draft plans are concerned.

There will be no shortage of compelling options at No. 17, including a cast of talented big men who can be paired down low with Anthony Davis. The Lakers might also opt to go the route of landing a perimeter player whose offensive game is more refined than James'.

If the reports hold true, then the one thing that's clear is that the Lakers will not be considering the option of drafting James until the second round.