Bronie James is in the NBA draft. Linking up with LeBron James next?

University of Southern California guard Brony James, the oldest son of LeBron James, will remain in next month’s NBA draft instead of withdrawing before Wednesday night’s deadline to retain his college eligibility, which has implications for his family and the league.

James, 19, declared early for the draft and entered the NCAA transfer portal in early April, keeping his options open during the pre-draft process. LeBron James announced his son’s decision on Wednesday On Instagram: “Bironi stays in the draft.”

Here’s what to know about Brony James, whose decision raises the possibility that he could join his father in the NBA next season.

With a name like LeBron Ramon James Jr., Brony was always going to face high expectations. His basketball skills have been showcased in viral videos since he was in elementary school. In 2015, “he’s already had some offers from colleges,” LeBron James confirmed on condition of anonymity. “It’s crazy. It should be a violation. You shouldn’t be hiring 10-year-olds.

But LeBron James has long discussed the possibility of joining the NHL’s Howes and MLB’s Griffis as part of a father-son duo.

“I want to be on the floor with my boy. I want to be on the floor with Brony,” James, now 39, told ESPN In January. “Either in the same uniform or a matchup against him. … But I want to do the whole Ken Griffey Sr. and Jr. thing. That would be great, of course. … He says he wants to play in the NBA, so if that’s what he wants to do, he’s got to put in the work. I’m already here, so I’m waiting for him.

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The fairy tale has a winding road

But while Bronny was a prodigy, he wasn’t a once-in-a-generation like his father. Unlike LeBron, he went to college and came to USC last summer after excelling in the McDonald’s All-American Game and the Nike Hoop Summit. However, he suffered a heart attack during training in July. The following month, James’ family announced that he “has an anatomically and functionally significant congenital heart defect that can and will be treated.”

Broney was eventually cleared to return to the court and made his collegiate debut in mid-December. He averaged 4.8 points, 2.8 rebounds and 2.1 assists in 19.4 minutes for the 15-18 Trojans, who finished at the bottom of the Pac-12. He was medically cleared for the draft shortly before this month’s draft. sources told ESPN, the NBA’s Fitness to Play Panel. His decision to go pro was the start of workouts with prospective teams ahead of the June 26-27 draft.

Broney’s star has been on the rise lately, and his draft prospects have been boosted by strong performances during pre-draft workouts. Despite being ranked 54th in ESPN’s top 100, he impressed scouts at the draft combine. He finished second in 71 chances in two three-point shooting drills and scored 13 points in a team scrimmage. He continued to perform well during a pro day at the Los Angeles Lakers practice facility last week, showing explosiveness and accurate perimeter shooting.

While James appears to be joining forces, it’s far from a lock. Broney must still be drafted or, if he is not selected, sign with any team as a free agent. Conveniently, his father signed a contract extension with the Lakers through 2022, which will allow him to become a free agent this summer. LeBron has until June 29, two days after the draft closes, to choose another year with the Lakers or leave.

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LeBron’s ability to control his future and Broney’s decision to enter the draft despite an uninspiring freshman season at USC fueled speculation that the two could end up on the same team. But LeBron tried to play down the buzz as the optimism he often expressed grew closer to reality.

“I haven’t thought about it much lately. Obviously, I’ve thought about it in the past,” he told reporters when the Lakers’ season ended last month in the first round of the playoffs. I don’t want to say. I think it’s great that the young man decides what he wants to do and what his career should be.

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