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Bronny James scouting report: NBA Draft eligibility, strengths, weaknesses for LeBron's son

Sporting News logo Sporting News 2 days ago Kyle Irving

LeBron James captured headlines everywhere at 2022 NBA All-Star weekend in Cleveland with his quote about wanting to finish his career playing alongside his son.

“My last year will be played with my son,” James told The Athletic's Jason Lloyd. “Wherever Bronny is at, that’s where I’ll be. I would do whatever it takes to play with my son for one year. It’s not about the money at that point.”

James, 37, averaged 30.3 points per game in his 19th season in the NBA. He doesn't look like he's slowing down any time soon, meaning he'll almost certainly still be a major factor by the time his son, Bronny, is ready for the NBA.

Bronny James Jr. is through his junior season at the powerhouse Los Angeles prep high school, Sierra Canyon.

The excerpt from his dad sent the NBA world into a frenzy, wondering everything from, "When is LeBron's son NBA Draft-eligible?" to "How good is LeBron's son?" or "Will LeBron's son even make the NBA?"

We have answers to all of those questions below.

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Bronny James scouting report

Age: 17 (turns 18 in October 2022)

Height, weight: 6-3, 190 lbs.

Class of 2023 rank: 40th (four-star) on ESPN's Top 100

It has been an unorthodox high school career for James to this point. He played in every game for Sierra Canyon as a freshman but the coronavirus pandemic delayed the start of his sophomore year. Even though games weren't being played at the time, James tore his meniscus in February of his sophomore season, requiring surgery.

When the shortened season tipped off in the Spring, James hadn't recovered yet but eventually suited up for Sierra Canyon in the postseason.

His junior year was his first full season back from injury, but playing alongside ESPN Top 100-level seniors like No. 2-ranked, five-star UCLA commit Amari Bailey and four-star prospects like USC commit Kijani Wright and Nebraska commit Ramel Lloyd, James wasn't always in the limelight the way you might expect.

He had some highs like an 18-point performance against an elite Chicago school, Glenbard West. He also had his lows, like being held scoreless when Sierra Canyon was eliminated in the California state tournament (CIF Southern Section Open).

The best way to describe Bronny's role on this Sierra Canyon team: He was a perennial starter and elite perimeter defender but played a reserved offensive role as a shooter and secondary scorer and playmaker.

As a 6-3 17-year-old, James already has good size and when you consider LeBron is 6-8, it's probably safe to assume he'll grow even more by the time he enters the draft process. He doesn't have the wingspan his father does, but Bronny already uses his quick feet and strength to his advantage on the defensive end, shutting off opposing drives with ease.

He has good hands and keen instincts to fill passing lanes, turning defense into offense in a hurry with his breakaway speed or savvy passing ability to run in transition.

"Feel for the game" is something you'll commonly read when it comes to Bronny and I believe that intangible skill will come to the forefront when he gets a chance to take over as a team's primary offensive initiator.

James can play either the one or the two, but he spent most of this season as an off-ball scorer and shooter. His jumpshot mechanics are smooth, but you will notice his release is a bit slow. He didn't shoot all that consistently during his junior season, but he does have range and he can also knock down jumpers off the dribble.

He has flashes where he shows his burst and athleticism to go downhill and get to the rim, but he doesn't attack as often as he could. He's an ambidextrous finisher and has steady body control. As he grows into his body, don't be surprised to see James get aggressive and put pressure on the rim more often.

There is still a lot to be determined when it comes to the type of player Bronny could be. As you would expect from the son of arguably the greatest player of all time, the skill and IQ are already in place. The next step is fine-tuning those tools and growing his game as his body becomes more developed.

As mentioned above, he is currently a four-star recruit and the 40th-ranked player in his high school class. How he performs in his final AAU circuit this spring and summer will make a significant impact on his ranking going into his senior high school season.

When is Bronny James NBA Draft-eligible?

James will first be eligible for the NBA Draft in 2024.

He will be an 18-year-old senior at Sierra Canyon next season in 2022-23.

It has not yet been determined where James will play once he graduates from high school and there are a number of different routes young prospects can go to get to the NBA these days.

From the NCAA to the G League Ignite to Australia's NBL Next Stars program and more, a handful of prospects have paved their own unique path to the NBA after high school in recent years.

Should he go the NCAA route, ESPN's recruiting platform currently has Duke, Kansas, Kentucky, North Carolina and UCLA as schools interested in James, with Kentucky being his lone offer.

That list will undoubtedly grow after his final summer of AAU hoops. 

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