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Hiring Bronnie James: What's best for LeBron James' son is college, the G League, or playing abroad

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Being named after one of the greatest basketball players of all time has its benefits, but it also has its challenges. For LeBron James Jr., better known as “Bronnie,” this includes the high expectations surrounding his growth as a prospect and, as LeBron James himself has stated, that he hopes one day Including whether two people can play together. NBA.

For years it’s been the subject of fun jokes – seriously, can you imagine how wild it would be to see a completely bald LeBron (probably by then) running the court with his eldest son? !– But that no longer makes it seem possible. Bronnie is now 17 years old, a prospect in the 2023 class, and is considered a consensus top 50 national prospect in his class.

Still, even considering his strong credentials and pedigree, it’s unclear how realistic it is to expect Bronnie to one day wear an NBA uniform. is the way to

So I asked an expert to help chart the path together. What’s the state of Bronnie’s game? After a strong show with Strive for Greatness on the Nike EYBL circuit this summer, where do we project him now? Will he go to college, if not? , what are his other options? I reached out to Adam Finkelstein, 247Sports Director of Scouting, and Eric Bossi, 247Sports National Basketball Director, for some insight on Bronnie James.

Bronnie’s Ranking Journey

Two years ago the following month, Bronnie debuted as a top 20 prospect in the 247Sports Composite rankings, setting expectations that he was on a potential crash course to stardom. They were larger and more skilled than their peers. That, combined with his pedigree and the pandemic, ignited his early momentum.

“When Bronnie was first ranked in September 2020, we were in the middle of a pandemic, and we’ve probably never seen fewer players in that first ranking again.” We’ve seen more of the 2023 class and the pool of players we’re ranking has grown quite a bit. feels it’s right for him to be ranked in the top 50 at this point.”

James is currently ranked 49th in 247Sports and 43rd in 247Sports Composite. As both Bossi and Finkelstein agreed, he didn’t necessarily fall as a recruit. A few Overall hyped and dropped from a 5 star to a 4 star recruit.

“It’s actually pretty impressive consistency to spend your entire high school years in the top 50,” says Finkelstein. “Early on you were looking at all the tools and betting a bit on the pedigree. You could still see the obvious tools that could be converted, but he’s the typical five-star prospect of his It wasn’t as dynamic.”

strong summer

It’s neither accurate nor fair to suggest that Bronnie’s journey as a recruit has been a rollercoaster.

“I think Bronnie certainly had some positive flashes and he had some of his best games during the second live period in July.” On the other hand, on the first day of two live weekends in July, he was barely able to play, and his team overall wasn’t all that great. Summer. Strive for Greatness was only 2-10 in July, and those losses were often blown away. So, I think he was a little better at the end of July. , the entire spring and summer must be taken into account.”

But for Bronnie, the natural ups and downs of any player’s prospects, there’s no denying he’s back on an upward trajectory. This summer, Nike on his EYBL circuit made him more aggressive in his offensive arsenal. For a long time he had the skill and feel of a player bordering on his five-star talent, but in recent years he has often blended in rather than stood out.

“What stands out now is that after historically being someone who almost always plays right but doesn’t always stand out, he’s starting to assert himself as a more major playmaker. said Finkelstein.

Bronies, what makes bronies

What’s the appeal of Bronnie’s game? Beyond the initial excitement about his size, he’s 6-foot-3 and may have nearly completed his growth, which is somewhat plateauing, but His comprehensive skill set. His Game Watching him in action, he’s a selfless teammate who, much like his father, loves to involve others and influences the game in countless ways. .

“He’s already smart and skilled, a reliable shooter, a ball mover and a solid defender, so the nuances of the position and running the team are important,” Finkelstein said of his ability and Talked about what he could take… to take his game to the next level. “He’s played very mature and I think he has the temperament for the position, especially considering he’s been put under the microscope.”

The aggressiveness with which he has played on the circuit this offseason is cause for optimism. He has the skills to consistently be an influential player on both ends, but in attack, he played selflessly and made mistakes. Between the lines there are lines where selflessness runs timidly.

“The biggest step for now is to be more consistent and play with a little more fire,” Bossi said. “Bronnie seems like a very good teammate and would be fun to play with, but it’s time for him to be more aggressive. He can knock down shots in catch-and-shoot situations. When he’s in a more aggressive role, he can open up the floor a little bit more for his teammates so he can use his strengths a little more to his advantage and put more pressure on defenders as a driver. See you there.”

How to predict his trajectory

Historically, the hit rate (and thus the chances of a player becoming a pro) of a player ranked within the range Bronny is ranked is pretty hit or miss. There are two, possibly three players ranked in the 40s or 50s in the 2021 class that could be drafted next year after their sophomore season.

“Now I see Bronnie as a really good high school player who has the chance to be a great player at the major level.

The NBA is the goal, but it shouldn’t be the ultimate yardstick for players. To tell the truth, Bronnie is a very good high school player with promising potential.

“It’s very hard to predict him because it’s hard to imagine his trajectory in a conventional way,” says Finkelstein. “His father has already said he wants to play next to him in the NBA and his father is probably the most influential person in all of basketball. I think he will be NBA ready in two years. No, probably not. “But I’m not against LeBron’s ability to dictate those terms if he wants to. If his name isn’t Bronnie James, he’s going to be I think I can influence a win.” At the college level from day one, but probably not a one-off type candidate. ”

Will Bronnie go to college?

Bronnie had reportedly received ongoing offers from both Duke and Kentucky.

However, that time was over six years ago.

A lot has changed since then, including his situation. Today, his recruitment, or lack thereof, is one of the more mysterious topics in college circles. Surprisingly, there is little information about his hiring and even less about his opportunities.

“It’s difficult because Bronnie isn’t out in the media, you can’t ask him about his hiring status, and he hasn’t said anything around him,” Bossi said. Speaking with them, he’s not an easy kid to get in touch with, which made the process of trying to build and maintain the type of relationship he wanted at Recruit somewhat difficult.

“I’ve also spoken to a number of coaches who go to schools other than Nike. They don’t think it’s likely that their father will go to any school other than Swoosh because of his relationship with Nike.” he continued. “Believe me, we would love to dig deeper into his recruiting. If you haven’t mentioned whether or not you’re involved… we’re talking behind the scenes about the involvement, so there’s not much we can do.”

Bronnie’s 247Sports profile doesn’t list any active offers, but some in the industry seem to think a route to college isn’t just viable, it’s likely. Paul on ESPN Biancardi reported last week that he’s more likely to go to college than go to other pro routes like G League Ignite. However, it is also reported that the Wolverines and Bruins are not actively recruiting Bronnie.

Behind the scenes, it’s unclear what he wants to do, prompting a pause from a program unwilling to dedicate resources in pursuit of a potential dead end.

“Recruitment is a bit of a mystery,” Finkelstein said. “Almost every other player in the country is very public about their recruitment. They post offers and visits on social media. What I do know is that some of the schools that are publicly recognized as his options have told me that they have not been in direct contact with him.

Of course, one last question remains. Drum roll, please.

What’s next for Bronnie?

Going to college is still an option, and an opportunity to make money from his name, image, and likeness at the NCAA level would make it more plausible. seems to leave options on the tableThat includes the possibility of going abroad to hone your skills or attending the G League Ignite. Joe Vardon of The Athletic recently wrote that “Bronny is either going to college with the G League Ignite in the fall of 2023 or going to Australia or where Rich Paul put him.” has led to speculation that he might play for his NBL in Australia. .

Both non-college options have proven to be viable pro passes in the past.The G League Ignite are just in their second year, but they’ve got a slew of options, including 2021 No. 2 overall pick Jalen Green. has already produced many star players. His NBL in Australia has a great track record of recruiting and producing top of his talent such as Lamelo Ball, RJ Hampton and Josh Guiddy.

Much depends on next year’s development. The school may become more actively involved if he hints at his interest in going to college. Maybe the NBL or G League Ignite can woo him with a chance to groom and grow his game before the NBA. add.

“Nobody knows what his future holds, but I don’t look at him, and I don’t think he’s predicting like the lottery,” Bossi said. Not a great class, regardless of rankings, there aren’t that many players that we look at and think, ‘That guy’s going to play in the NBA for 15 years.’ Let’s look at it as a kid who has the chance to be and see what happens from there.”