“I would be stunned if they don’t go that direction”: NBA insider predicts Lakers picking Bronny James at No. 55 to ensure LeBron returns to LA 

ESPN insider speaks about Bronny James
ESPN insider speaks about Bronny James' and the Lakers (Instagram: @bronny, @kingjames)

With the 2024 NBA draft just around the corner, speculation regarding who is going where is at an all-time high. LeBron's eldest son, Bronny James, is also part of the conversation, currently projected to be picked No. 55 overall in the draft.

ESPN NBA insider Bobby Marks sat down with "Front Office Sports Today" host Owen Poindexter to talk about NBA television rights deals and the upcoming draft. Marks made a bold prediction, saying he would be surprised if the Lakers pass on Bronny if he is still on the board at pick No. 55:

"I do think it's a team that maybe has multiple picks ...one pick for a guy who can come on the scene and make an impact and the other maybe for a developmental player here," Marks said. "So if he's [Bronny James] at 55, where the Lakers are, I would be stunned if they don't go in that direction."

(0:37 mark onwards)

Marks also mentioned that he has high hopes that Bronny's name will be called on the second night of the draft:

"I am anticipating his name to be called when we get to the second night, that would be on June 27."

According to Bobby Marks, the Lakers going for Bronny James at No. 55, as he suggests, could be a strategic play to ensure LeBron James stays in LA.

Will Bronny James get drafted in 2024 NBA draft?

Although some mock drafts suggest that Bronny James might be heading towards the Lakers, others doubt it, possibly leaving him without a team in the draft.

The USC guard declared for the 2024 NBA draft in April and the discussion regarding his decision to go straight for the draft after only one college basketball season has been split.

Moreover, Bronny's agent, Rich Paul, said that they are not willing to accept a two-way contract, which further limits the number of teams that could invest in him:

"He's a really good prospect who has a lot of room for growth. It only takes one team. I don't care where that team is, it can be No. 1 or 58, but I do care about the plan, the development, " Paul told ESPN.
"The team's strategy, the opportunity and the financial commitment. That's why I'm not doing a two-way deal. Every team understands that."

At this stage, the Los Angeles Lakers are the front-runners to pick Bronny at No. 55. Meanwhile the Phoenix Suns are also reportedly interested in bringing Bronny to the team.

However, the Suns will not have their second-round draft pick this year. Therefore, if they want Bronny, they will either have to pick him in the first round or consider a trade.

What could Alabama basketball's 2024-25 starting lineup look like? Find out here

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