There’s been immense curiosity round Bronny James since he first entered the general public eye as a possible future NBA prospect. James’ sport has grown over the past three years whereas taking part in for Los Angeles prep powerhouse Sierra Canyon throughout the highschool season and on the Nike EYBL circuit in the summertime. As he enters his senior 12 months, James is at present rated because the No. 43 general prospect within the class of 2023, in line with the 247 Sports activities composite rankings.
James is at an enchanting inflection level in his younger profession for a number of causes. After largely being a job participant on Sierra Canyon groups loaded with present and future NBA expertise — Ziaire Williams, Brandon Boston Jr., and Amari Bailey, to call a number of — James is about to be the main man for his faculty as a senior. He additionally wants to determine his plan after commencement. Along with his well-known father repeatedly stating he needs to play together with his oldest son earlier than he retires, Bronny’s subsequent step goes to be crucial to assist him get to the NBA.
On Friday, ESPN’s Paul Biancardi gave the primary knowledgeable replace in months on James’ subsequent step. In keeping with ESPN, “there’s a robust feeling he’ll take the faculty route,” with UCLA, USC, Michigan, Ohio State, and Oregon talked about because the leaders. Biancardi notes that different colleges might nonetheless get into the combo. School after all received’t be James’ solely potential path to the 2024 NBA Draft: he might go to the G League Ignite, flip professional in Australia like LaMelo Ball, or decide an alternate choice like Additional time Elite.
What ought to Bronny do after highschool? Right here’s a have a look at his reported leaders.
The native choices: UCLA and USC
LeBron James can turn out to be a free agent in the summertime of 2023, however most consider his most popular state of affairs to stick with the Los Angeles Lakers so long as they will reassert themselves as a respectable contender. With the whole James household in LA, it means sense that Bronny would have a watch on each native colleges, UCLA and USC.
The Bruins are coming off a Closing 4 and Candy 16 look in Mick Cronin’s first two seasons as head coach. They’re thought-about a top-10 group coming into this season, but it surely’s attainable they might lose 4 starters as soon as the 12 months is over if incoming freshmen Amari Bailey and Adem Bona reside as much as the hype. Add in that UCLA doesn’t have any commits for the 2023 class but, and it’s actually arduous to undertaking what their roster might appear like a 12 months from now. How Bailey’s freshman 12 months goes could possibly be an enormous affect on Bronny as his former highschool teammate. It’s value noting that final season’s stud recruit, Peyton Watson, couldn’t crack the rotation on a veteran group in 2021-22 (and was nonetheless a primary spherical draft decide anyway). If Bronny indicators on, Cronin needs to be keen to provide him an actual function.
USC can also be a good choice. The Trojans have made consecutive NCAA event appearances, and will make it once more this 12 months as a fringe top-25 group to start out the season. There’s one other Sierra Canyon connection right here with Bronny’s former teammate Kijani Wright set to debut for the Trojans this season as a former top-50 recruit. USC has a very good incoming class, but in addition doesn’t have any commits for 2023 but. It’s simple to see Bronny beginning on both of those groups if he commits.
The Massive Ten powerhouses with household connections: Ohio State and Michigan
LeBron as soon as mentioned he would have gone to Ohio State had he not entered the NBA Draft out of highschool. He’s nonetheless an enormous Buckeyes fan, and would probably endorse his son shifting again to Ohio to star for Chris Holtmann. The Buckeyes helped flip Malaki Branham right into a shock one-and-done final season after getting into this system with the same recruiting rating to the one Bronny at present owns (four-star, top-50 general recruit). Ohio State has 4 top-100 recruits coming on this season, and 4 extra top-100 recruits dedicated for the next season. The Buckeyes’ 2023 class is simply lacking a degree guard, and that’s a job Bronny might doubtlessly fill.
Michigan would additionally make sense due to LeBron’s connection to go coach Juwan Howard. Howard and LeBron have been teammates on the Miami Warmth on the finish of Howard’s profession and received two rings collectively (Howard barely performed on these groups). There have been even some rumors about Howard doubtlessly getting the Lakers job within the offseason. As an alternative, Howard will coach his personal sons Jett and Jace with the Wolverines subsequent season. LeBron and Bronny will definitely discover if it goes properly. Michigan additionally seems like a very good on-court match for Bronny: the Wolverines can doubtlessly put loads of capturing on the ground, and Bronny might have a job as a defense-first glue man within the backcourt.
The final word Nike faculty: Oregon
Nike founder Phil Knight went to Oregon, and has pumped cash into the athletic division to the purpose that the Geese have turn out to be synonymous with the model. Oregon is used to touchdown big-time recruits: incoming freshman middle Kel’el Ware is already getting top-10 NBA Draft hype, they usually have Kwame Evans, the No. 2 general prospect in 2023, dedicated for the next 12 months. The Geese have constantly made the NCAA event earlier than final season, and can be one other place that would probably provide Bronny a headline function as a freshman.
Bronny James recruiting: Might anybody else become involved?
I’d be stunned if Bronny commits early given the tempo of his recruitment to date. There appears to be loads of time for different choices outdoors of the 5 colleges talked about above to emerge. Duke watched Bronny at Peach Jam, and already has 4 five-star recruits dedicated for 2023. Two of these gamers are guards from LA in Jared McCain and Caleb Foster, however it could be silly to utterly rule out the Blue Devils at this level. Memphis has additionally reportedly been checking in on James, and a match might make sense there with head coach Penny Hardaway main this system.
The G League Ignite is also an enjoyable choice. The Ignite have confirmed they will produce NBA expertise with three top-10 picks within the final two drafts (Jalen Inexperienced, Jonathan Kuminga, and Dyson Daniels), and Bronny would add an unimaginable jolt of pleasure to the G League. I’m not shopping for the Australian NBL or Additional time Elite as severe choices at this level.
The faculty route feels just like the most secure wager for Bronny at this level. The California colleges ought to have an edge so long as his dad stays with the Lakers. Wherever Bronny goes, he’s going to be an enormous star from the second he steps on campus.