Will Bronny James join dad LeBron at Lakers? NBA draft preview

Bronny James is looking to the side of the camera

The NBA draft takes place this week and many fans will be eager to find out where LeBron James' son Bronny ends up.

The first-round draft starts on Wednesday, 26 June, with the second round on Thursday 27.

One common theory is that Bronny could be picked by the Los Angeles Lakers to play alongside his father for what is predicted to be LeBron's final year on-court.

The 19-year-old has completed his first year of college basketball with the University of Southern California Trojans, where he averaged 4.8 points and 2.1 assists per game.

Unlike his father, who stands at 6ft 9in and is the NBA's leading all-time scorer, Bronny is 6ft 1in and is more of a defensive player.

However, being the son of a four-time NBA champion and four-time Most Valuable Player brings extra attention along with it. Bronny has 7.7 million Instagram followers and pundits have followed his journey for years.

Despite that, his path has not been entirely smooth. Bronny had a cardiac arrest in training last July, meaning he was only cleared to return to basketball last November, having been found to have a congenital heart defect.

Will Bronny James be picked by the Lakers?

Lakers veteran LeBron, 39, is likely entering the final year of his career and could become a free agent this summer by declining his $51.4m (£40.6m) player option when the window opens at the end of June.

But could Bronny be used as a makeweight to tempt LeBron into a new contract?

Following the All-Star game in 2022, the four-time NBA champion told reporters, "my last year will be played with my son".

Earlier this month, the Lakers named television pundit and former player JJ Redick, who also co-hosts a basketball podcast alongside James, as their new head coach.

With no prior coaching experience, the 40-year-old former Orlando Magic and LA Clippers shooting guard may look to build a team around LeBron.

The Lakers have the number 17 and number 55 picks in the draft . They are also one of only two teams, along with the Phoenix Suns, who Bronny has worked out with before the draft.

Bronny James of the West team talks to father Lebron James after the 2023 McDonald's High School Boys All-American Game, 2023.
Bronny is the eldest of three siblings - including younger brother, Bryce Maximus, 17, and sister, Zhuri, nine [Getty Images]

Who else might Bronny James join?

Rich Paul, who works as an agent for both Bronny and LeBron, told ESPN earlier this month that Dallas Mavericks’ general manager Nico Harrison is “like an uncle” to Bronny.

The Mavericks own the number 58 pick.

In the same interview, Paul claimed that the Minnesota Timberwolves would “love to get Bronny in” and that Masai Ujirim president of the Toronto Raptors, “loves” the young player.

The Timberwolves hold picks 27 and 37, while the Raptors have number 19 and 31.

Who will be number one NBA draft pick?

Two 19-year-old Frenchmen, Zaccharie Risacher and Alexandre Sarr, have been projected in the top two spots for the draft.

Risacher is 6ft 9in and plays for top division French team JL Bourg-en-Bresse as a small forward. Sarr is 7ft 1in and plays for Australian team Perth Wildcats as a forward or centre.

Kentucky Wildcats guard Reed Sheppard, 20, University of Connecticut centre Donovan Clingan, 20 and his 19-year-old team-mate Stephon Castle, who plays as a guard, have all been projected in the top five.

Who is British draft player Quinn Ellis?

Quinn Ellis is a 21-year-old from Sheffield who played most recently for Italian team Dolomiti Energia Trentino. The point guard has been ranked in the top 100 draft projections by ESPN.

What time is the draft?

This year's draft will take place across two nights. The first round will be held at Barclays Centre in Brooklyn, New York on Wednesday, 26 Junefrom 20:00 ET (01:00 GMT).

The second round will take place at ESPN’s Seaport District Studios in New York on Thursday, 27 June from 16:00 ET (21:00 GMT).