LeBron James Reacts To ESPN's Mock Draft For Bronny

LeBron seemed pretty happy about where ESPN saw his son landing in next year's draft.

BYBen Mock
Utah Jazz v Los Angeles Lakers

The question of where Bronny James will land in the 2024 NBA Draft is one that has quickly dominated basketball circles in recent days. Bronny, LeBron's eldest son, is about to start his freshman year at USC. Many expect him to follow the one-and-done path into the NBA.

However, not everyone has been a fan. Kenny Smith pulled out statistics to argue that Bronny may never make it to the NBA. However, while Smith's correct purely from a numbers standpoint, it's hard to see Bronny James going completely undrafted given his last name.

For the time being, mock drafts have him hovering around the tail-end of the lottery. SB Nation has him going at #12. Meanwhile, ESPN, whose mock draft includes specific teams, had him going at #17 to the Hawks. It was this landing spot that caught the eye of LeBron himself.

Related: LeBron James makes bizarre French Montana joke on Instagram

LeBron Reacts To The Hawks Drafting Bronny

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - FEBRUARY 07: LeBron James #6 of the Los Angeles Lakers reacts with Bronny James after scoring to pass Kareem Abdul-Jabbar to become the NBA's all-time leading scorer, surpassing Abdul-Jabbar's career total of 38,387 points against the Oklahoma City Thunder at Crypto.com Arena on February 07, 2023 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

LeBron shared ESPN's image to his Instagram story, adding the caption "Welllll ATL shawty the #JamesGang will be pulling up!" Safe to say that James wasn't opposed to his son heading to Atlanta. The Hawks picking at #17 is based on ESPN's internal predictions for the draft order.

However, could that force a trade between the Hawks and Lakers? LeBron has been very clear that he would like to play with Bronny before he retires from the NBA. Furthermore, the Lakers may not have a first-round pick in 2024, as the Pelicans currently hold the option to take the Lakers 2024 or 2025 first-rounder.

LeBron currently has two years remaining on his contract. However, that does include a player option year for 2024-25. As Bronny is likely to land somewhere other than the Lakers come the draft, could we see LeBron push for an opt-in and trade deal?

Related: Bronny James to face Nikola Jokić's former Serbian team during preseason tour

Bronny To Wear #6 At USC

In other father-son news amongst the James family, Bronny will be honoring his father at USC. On June 22, USC announced that Bronny would wear #6 while playing for the school. While Bronny has long worn the number, it has also been a tribute to his father.

LeBron most famously wore #6 during his time in Miami, forgoing the #23 he had worn during the start of his career in Cleveland. Per LeBron, the #6 has also held special meaning to him, as it links in some way to the birthdays of both Bronny and Bryce. Furthermore, LeBron wore #6 for the Lakers during the 2022-23 season.

However, if Bronny is drafted, he will have to find a new number. Perhaps the most famous player other than LeBron to wear #6 was the legendary Bill Russell. when Russell passed away in 2022, the league made the decision to issue a league-wide retirement for the number.

Related: Bronny James to make USC debut in Vegas versus Kansas State


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About The Author
Benjamin Mock (they/them) is a sports and culture writer working out of Philadelphia. Previously writing for the likes of Fixture, Dexerto, Fragster, and Jaxon, Ben has dedicated themselves to engaging and accessible articles about sports, esports, and internet culture. With a love for the weirder stories, you never quite know what to expect from their work.