If you believe super agent Rich Paul, LeBron James and his son Bronny James are not a package deal ahead of the 2024 NBA draft. Paul told ESPN’s Jonathan Givony, “LeBron is off this idea of having to play with Bronny. If he does, he does. But if he doesn’t, he doesn’t.” Seems fair. But is that the real situation? 


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He emphasized that there is no guarantee LeBron will re-sign with the Lakers if they draft Bronny, stating, “If that was the case, I would force them to take him at 17. We don’t need leverage. The Lakers can draft Bronny, and LeBron doesn’t re-sign.”

To double down, Paul made it clear that LeBron will not join another team on a minimum deal to play with Bronny, dismissing speculation about a move to the Phoenix Suns. This stance has been reiterated in multiple interviews, with Paul telling Chris Haynes of Bleacher Report, “LeBron said he wanted to play with his son. Bronny can’t do anything about that. But again, I have a job to do representing Bronny and LeBron. If it aligns where he can play with his dad, great. Am I necessarily focused on that? No, not at all.”

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Get this, Bronny’s approach to the draft suggests a strategic move. He has only worked out for the Lakers and the Suns, which typically indicates leverage reserved for lottery prospects, despite being projected as a second-round pick. This move might hint at a desire to join a team where his father could potentially follow.

Now the thing is franchises like the Lakers and Suns, focused on winning championships, may not provide the ideal environment for a rookie’s development. The Lakers’ first-round pick in 2023, Jalen Hood-Schifino, played only 109 minutes in his first year, and the Suns traded their second-rounder, Toumani Camara, to the Portland Trail Blazers.

Even though Paul’s statements suggest no guarantees that LeBron will join a team just because they draft Bronny, the selective workout strategy might imply an attempt to engineer a father-son partnership on their terms.