Bronny James' Agent Shuts Down Popular NBA Draft Theory Involving LeBron's Free Agency (2024)

Bronny James' Agent Shuts Down Popular NBA Draft Theory Involving LeBron's Free Agency (2)

It has long been considered inevitable that LeBron James and Bronny James will play together in the NBA. However, their agent is backing off of that idea while shutting down a popular theory about his clients’ futures in the league.

Rich Paul claims that they are not a package deal as many have assumed.

Of course, the 42-year-old’s most recent comments could be a smoke screen. We will learn the whole truth during the NBA Draft next week. In the meantime, we can only take Paul at his word.

All of this speculation stems from a few different things.

First and foremost, LeBron famously said that he wants to play the final years of his NBA career with his eldest son. In addition, the greatest basketball player of this generation plans to decline his player-option with the Los Angeles Lakers and will become a free agent. With those two factors in mind, there was a growing hypothesis that LeBron will sign with whatever team drafts his son. Except Paul recently told ESPN that playing together isn’t as important as it once was.

LeBron is off this idea of having to play with Bronny. If he does, he does. But if he doesn’t he doesn’t. There’s no deal made that it’s guaranteed that if the Lakers draft Bronny at 44, [LeBron] will re-sign. 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 resign.

— Rich Paul, via ESPN

Beyond Los Angeles, reports have speculated that LeBron might be most interested in playing for the Suns. One such theory suggested that if they were to draft James Jr., they could get James Sr. on a cheap deal because money doesn’t matter anymore. That, too, is untrue.

LeBron is not going to Phoenix for a minimum deal. We can squash that now.

— Rich Paul, via ESPN

LeBron is one part of this equation. Bronny is the other.

From what Paul is saying, the former is not attached to the latter and the latter is not attached to the former. And yet, Bronny has largely declined pre-Draft workouts with most teams. Only Phoenix and Los Angeles were able to get him in the building. Hence the chatter about those two specific teams.

Bronny James’ workouts don’t matter?

Paul also offered some clarity in that regard and referenced how he landed guaranteed deals for Talen Horton-Tucker, Brandon Boston Jr., and Chris Livingston even though they were late picks who didn’t hold many pre-Draft workouts. Darius Garland and MarJon Beauchamp were other clients of his that also took a unique approach to the process.

The goal is to find a team that values your guy and try to push him to get there. It’s important to understand the context and realize that this has always been the strategy with many of my clients throughout the years, especially those in need of development like Bronny. My stuff is by design.

— Rich Paul, via ESPN

Paul insists that Bronny James is the same as Horton-Tucker, Boston Jr., Livingston, Garland and Beauchamp. His last name does not make him any different. (Even though it does!)

Bronny is the same as my previous clients. I got the word out early to teams that if you plan on bringing Bronny in, here’s what you need to know: If you won’t give him a real deal, there’s nothing to talk about. It’s hard to get real development on a two-way deal.

I don’t care about him going to the Lakers, or Phoenix, or about what number he gets picked. It’s about fit […]

If Bronny’s name was Charles Jacobsen and he was my client — I would do the same thing: identify teams that have real interest.

— Rich Paul, via ESPN

In addition to the Suns and Lakers, Paul says that the Timberwolves, Mavericks and Raptors are also in the mix. Workouts aren’t everything.

If it’s not the Lakers, it will be someone else. Minnesota would love to get Bronny in, but I don’t know who their owner is going to be. [Mavs GM] Nico Harrison is like an uncle to Bronny. If the Lakers don’t take him at 55, Dallas would take him at 58 and give him a guaranteed deal. Masai [Ujiri, Raptors president,] loves him. They could take him without even seeing him at 31.

— Rich Paul, via ESPN

Maybe this is true. Maybe this is an effort to throw everybody off of the scent.

Either way, Rich Paul is not making any guarantees about Bronny or LeBron James. Rather, he is pulling back from some of the assumptions. They apparently aren’t a package deal. The workouts apparently don’t matter.

We shall see…

Bronny James' Agent Shuts Down Popular NBA Draft Theory Involving LeBron's Free Agency (2024)

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