Lakers Have New Team to Worry About Drafting Bronny James

The Los Angeles Lakers might not get a chance to draft Bronny James in the second round as the Toronto Raptors have the 31st overall pick.
USC v Washington
USC v Washington / David Becker/GettyImages

With the start of the 2024 NBA Draft only a day away, the rumors about where USC guard Bronny James will go are heating up

Throughout the entire draft process, James has been consistently linked to the Los Angeles Lakers with the No. 55 overall pick, as his dad plays for the team. Bronny has only worked out for the Los Angeles Lakers and Phoenix Suns, making it seem as if those are the only teams that could draft him.

However, James’ agent, Rich Paul, threw a few more teams in the mix in an interview last week with ESPN’s Jonathan Givony. Paul mentioned the Minnesota Timberwolves, Dallas Mavericks, and Toronto Raptors could be potential landing spots for Bronny.

Lakers Rumors: Bronny James in the Mix For Toronto at No. 31 Pick

Nonetheless, the Lakers might have to worry about the Raptors, who hold the 31st overall pick at the top of the second round.

Raptors assistant general manager Dan Tolzman was asked by reporters Tuesday about Paul’s comments last week suggesting that Toronto could draft James. Tolzman gave an interesting answer that leaves some intrigue heading into the draft on Wednesday night.

“I think all these players are guys we're looking at,” Tolzman said (h/t Josh Lewenberg of TSN). “He's in the mix... Every player on the board we're looking long and hard at and I wouldn't say we've ruled anybody out.”

When looking at Tolzman’s comments, one could infer that this is just GM speak, as the Raptors will kick off the top of the second round on Thursday afternoon. However, who is to say that the Raptors aren’t thinking about taking Bronny at No. 31?

It would be a bold decision by the Raptors’ front office as James didn’t have a great freshman year at USC. But at the same time, he was working his way back from a serious health issue that derailed his lone season with the Trojans.

The Raptors are a young team with a good core featuring Scottie Barnes, RJ Barrett, and Immanuel Quickley. James could fit in with that group as he wouldn’t have the immediate pressure of playing in Los Angeles or with his father.

At the same time, it’s hard to envision James getting a ton of minutes with Toronto or Los Angeles as he’ll need more reps in the NBA G League next season. The oddsmakers still believe James will be drafted by the Lakers (-145 on FanDuel Sportsbook), so we will see how everything unfolds over the next 48 hours.

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