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Offseason | NBA Week 26

Lakers favored to draft Bronny James, but are rivals circling?

Wed May 29 11:35pm ET
Field Level Media

Let the rumor games begin in earnest.

Bronny James is staying in the 2024 NBA Draft, adding a massive layer of intrigue despite not being projected as a first-round pick, much less a lottery selection.

LeBron James has seemingly backed off previous statements that his hope is to play with his son in the NBA. Is that posturing, or would The King truly be satisfied with potentially playing opposite Bronny a few times a year?

The next month promises to bring smoke screens and rumor mongering at the highest NBA level.


LeBron James is expected to opt out of his current contract before the June 29 deadline, regardless of whether he plans to return to the Los Angeles Lakers. The question is whether he will use that as leverage to make sure that he winds up playing alongside -- not opposite -- Bronny, regardless of whether he calls Crypto.com Arena home next season.

At least one sportsbook is offering odds on each of the potential 30 NBA teams drafting Bronny James.

TEAM TO DRAFT BRONNY JAMES*

Los Angeles Lakers (2/3)

Phoenix Suns (2/1)

New York Knicks (16/1)

Los Angeles Clippers (18/1)

Cleveland Cavaliers (20/1)

Philadelphia 76ers (20/1)

Memphis Grizzlies (22/1)

Miami Heat (22/1)

Chicago Bulls (25/1)

Milwaukee Bucks (25/1)

Atlanta Hawks (28/1)

Dallas Mavericks (28/1)

Oklahoma City Thunder (28/1)

San Antonio Spurs (28/1)

Golden State Warriors (33/1)

Utah Jazz (33/1)

Boston Celtics (40/1)

Denver Nuggets (40/1)

Houston Rockets (40/1)

Minnesota Timberwolves (40/1)

New Orleans Pelicans (40/1)

Portland Trail Blazers (40/1)

Sacramento Kings (40/1)

Toronto Raptors (40/1)

Orlando Magic (45/1)

Brooklyn Nets (50/1)

Detroit Pistons (50/1)

Indiana Pacers (50/1)

Washington Wizards (50/1)

Charlotte Hornets (66/1)

*Odds provided by SportsBetting.ag for informational purposes only.

On the surface, the Lakers are the perfect landing spot. LeBron James clearly loves playing for the purple and gold, and teaming with Bronny in Hollywood would be a marketing grand slam.

The problem is the Lakers currently hold the Nos. 17 and 55 picks in the June 26 draft (though the New Orleans Pelicans have the option of taking the Lakers' first-round pick either this draft or next). Bronny James, 19, isn't viewed as a mid-first-round prospect by most analysts, but there are no shortage of teams that might look to take a flier on him before No. 55.

That's why most of the teams with the next-shortest odds to draft Bronny James have also been mentioned as potential suitors for LeBron if he's open to another change of NBA addresses.

The Phoenix Suns, who own the No. 22 pick, are scheduled to work out Bronny James.

Thickening the plot, Suns general manager James Jones played with LeBron James in Cleveland and Miami. Could Jones make a play to add the James duo to a core that includes Kevin Durant, Devin Booker and Bradley Beal?

Phoenix currently has +1200 odds at DraftKings to be the next team LeBron James takes the court for. That's behind only the Lakers at -425 and the Cleveland Cavaliers at +750.

The Cavs are tied for the fifth-shortest odds at SportsBetting.ag to draft Bronny James, which could lead to a third stint for LeBron with his hometown team. The +2000 odds are the same as those of the Philadelphia 76ers, who may see a closing window of opportunity with injury-prone superstar Joel Embiid. The Sixers have the fifth-shortest odds at DraftKings to land LeBron at +2200.

Another intriguing destination for the father-son tandem -- should they work a situation to play together -- is the bright lights of New York City. The New York Knicks are coming off a season that fell a win shy of the Eastern Conference Finals.

With an ascending roster and another proven star in Jalen Brunson, could the James duo suit up together in Madison Square Garden? The Knicks have the third-shortest odds to draft Bronny James, while DraftKings is offering +2500 odds that they'll sign LeBron James.

Of course, there's still the very real possibility that father and son are playing for different NBA franchises next season. But LeBron James' opt-out provides a path for the elder James to help stack the deck strongly in his favor should the ultimate goal be to play alongside his son as soon as next season.

Player Notes
Kentavious Caldwell-Pope Sat Jun 22 12:10pm

According to NBA insider Chris Haynes, Denver Nuggets guard Kentavious Caldwell-Pope will likely decline his player option if he doesn't agree on a contract extension with his current team. Haynes added that even if KCP declines, that doesn't necessarily mean he'll leave Denver. However, Caldwell-Pope will have a "plethora of teams at his doorstop" if he hits the open market. The 31-year-old has spent the last two seasons with the Nuggets, where he has been instrumental in the team's success. He finished the 2023-24 campaign by averaging 10.1 points and 1.3 steals while shooting 40.6% from behind the arc. With that said, if Caldwell-Pope stays in Denver, he'll have to fight with Nikola Jokic and the rest of the starters for scoring chances. Yet, if he lands on a new team for the 2024-25 season, his production could increase.

Tobias Harris Sat Jun 22 12:00pm

According to NBA insider Chris Haynes, impending free agent forward Tobias Harris is expected to receive "ample interest" from teams this offseason. Haynes mentioned Utah, Detroit, San Antonio, Dallas, and New Orleans as the clubs with the strongest chance of landing the veteran, adding that he doesn't "see a scenario where Tobias is back in Philly." Harris, the No. 19 overall pick in the 2011 NBA Draft, has played for the Bucks, Magic, Pistons, Clippers, and most recently, the 76ers. He finished the 2023-24 campaign by averaging 17.2 points, 6.5 rebounds, and 1.0 steals. Despite being in the league for well over a decade, the 31-year-old could remain a starter for whatever team he lands on. While he's past his prime, he still has a lot to offer fantasy managers, even more so due to his durability.

Mitchell Robinson Fri Jun 21 10:50pm

According to Jake Fischer of Yahoo.com, New York Knicks center Mitchell Robinson could be traded this offseason. Per Fischer, the Knicks "have contacted opposing teams about moving Mitchell." However, specific clubs weren't mentioned. The 2018 No. 36 overall pick has averaged 8.0 points, 7.9 rebounds, and 1.9 blocks in six seasons in New York. Yet, he has missed time over the years because of various ailments. With that said, Mitchell's defensive prowess should make him an attractive asset for category participants. But his inability to stay on the floor is an issue.

Brook Lopez Fri Jun 21 10:40pm

Milwaukee Bucks center Brook Lopez could find himself on a new team for the 2024-25 campaign. While it's unknown if the Bucks have engaged in official trade discussions with other clubs around the National Basketball Association, Jake Fischer of Yahoo.com reported that Milwaukee is "open to reshaping their roster" and is "gauging" Lopez's value. Despite his age, the 36-year-old is still productive, finishing his most recent season by averaging 12.5 points, 5.2 rebounds, and 2.4 blocks while shooting 36.6% from behind the arc. He's also appeared in 157 games in the last two seasons. Without question, Lopez will draw attention from teams looking for an upgrade underneath the rim. But regardless of where he ends up moving ahead, he could have at least one more quality season for fantasy managers.

Paul George Fri Jun 21 8:10pm

According to Shams Charania of The Athletic, the Philadelphia 76ers interest in Los Angeles Clippers forward Paul George has "waned in recent days." The 34-year-old, who can decline his player option to become an unrestricted free agent, was reportedly high on Philadelphia's wish list this offseason. While there's still a chance that both sides re-engage in discussions this summer, for now, the 76ers may look for alternatives on the open market. George averaged 22.6 points, 5.2 rebounds, 3.5 assists, and 1.5 steals last season. Even better, he appeared in 74 contests. Although his production has declined over the years, he's still a top fantasy option in all formats. That may not change for at least a few more seasons, regardless if he re-signs a massive extension with the Clippers or goes elsewhere.

Drew Eubanks Fri Jun 21 8:00pm

Forward/center Drew Eubanks will decline his $2.6 million player option with the Phoenix Suns, meaning he'll be an unrestricted free agent. The 27-year-old appeared in 75 games for the Suns last season. However, he averaged 5.1 points and 4.3 rebounds, his lowest marks in the previous few seasons. Eubanks also saw only 15 minutes per contest during the 2023-24 campaign. Yet, he'll have double-double upside if he can find minutes on a new team.

Malik Monk Fri Jun 21 7:50pm

According to ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski, Sacramento Kings guard Malik Monk (knee) plans to sign a four-year, $78 million contract to remain with the team. The 26-year-old was in the running to win the Sixth Man of the Year award, averaging career-highs in points (15.4) and assists (5.1). Unfortunately, he suffered a knee injury near the end of the season and was limited to 72 games. Monk had logged 26.0 minutes per contest during the 2023-24 campaign. He should continue to see the floor as much, if not more, this season, so he'll have plenty of value for fantasy managers.

Alex Caruso Thu Jun 20 6:40pm

According to ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski, OKC acquired guard Alex Caruso from Chicago in exchange for Josh Giddey. With Plenty of scorers on the Thunder's roster, the team needed to focus on upgrading things on the defensive end. Caruso obviously fits the bill, considering he is widely regarded as one of the best defenders in the National Basketball Association. The 30-year-old finished the 2023-24 campaign by averaging a career-high 10.1 points, adding 3.8 rebounds, 3.5 assists, 1.7 steals, and 1.0 blocks. Although Caruso's scoring numbers could drop on a team that features Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, he should continue to make a difference for category managers due to his defensive prowess.

Josh Giddey Thu Jun 20 6:30pm

According to ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski, the Bulls acquired guard Josh Giddey from OKC. In exchange, the Thunder received guard Alex Caruso. Chicago was expected to be active this offseason to bolster the roster. With Lonzo Ball (knee) still without a return timetable, the move was made to acquire a playmaker. Giddey just completed his third year of service in the National Basketball Association. However, he averaged career-lows in points (12.3), rebounds (6.4), and assists (4.8) while averaging only 25.2 minutes per contest. Without question, the door is open for the 21-year-old to see more scoring opportunities with the Bulls, so it's logical to assume he'll turn things around during the 2024-25 campaign. His statistical contributions could be greater if Chicago can't bring back DeMar DeRozan, who is set to hit unrestricted free agency this summer.

Pascal Siakam Thu Jun 20 12:10pm

ESPN Senior NBA Insider Adrian Wojnarowski has reported that Pascal Siakam plans to sign a new maximum deal with the Indiana Pacers, worth $189.5 million over four years. The All-NBA forward is expected to sign the new contract once the league's free agency moratorium ends on July 6. After a mid-season trade from the Toronto Raptors, Siakam became a major part of Indiana's success, helping lead the team to the Eastern Conference Finals. In 41 regular season games with the Pacers, the 30-year-old averaged 21.3 points per game while shooting 55% from the field in 41 regular-season.

Gary Payton II Thu Jun 20 12:10pm

ESPN NBA reporter Kendra Andrews has reported that point Gary Payton II has chosen to remain in Golden State with the Warriors after opting into his $9.1 million player option for next year. The 31-year-old guard averaged 5.5 points and 2.6 rebounds while shooting 56.3% from the field this past season. However, his health remains a concern. Payton only played in 44 games as several injuries forced him to be sidelined. He missed games in November and December with a calf strain, and then a hamstring strain cost him time in January and February. The Warriors hope to get more production from Payton moving forward.

LeBron James Thu Jun 20 12:10pm

According to Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James' agent, Rich Paul, his client won't suit up for the Suns this season on a minimum contract. Speculation began to swirl about the possibility of James playing in Phoenix after his son, Bronny James, worked out for the club. However, it appears even if the Suns select the 19-year-old in the 2024 NBA Draft, it won't be enough to coax his father into joining Kevin Durant, Devin Booker, and Bradley Beal. Without question, the multi-time All-Star is nearing the end of his career. Yet, despite injuries, he's still productive, finishing the 2023-24 campaign by averaging 25.7 points, 8.3 assists, 7.3 rebounds, and 1.3 steals while shooting a career-high 41.0% from deep. At any rate, James still needs to decline his $51.4 million player option to enter unrestricted free agency, with his decision expected to come soon.

Bruce Brown Thu Jun 20 12:10pm

According to NBA insider Marc Stein, the Toronto Raptors are expected to pick up the team option of guard/forward Bruce Brown. The 27-year-old won an NBA championship with the Nuggets in 2022-23. However, after signing with the Indiana Pacers, he was dealt to Toronto ahead of the 2023-24 trade deadline. He appeared in 34 games for the Raptors, although his statistical contributions declined, averaging 9.6 points, 3.8 rebounds, and 2.7 assists. Nonetheless, the Raptors could end up trading him at some point during the 2024-25 campaign, potentially increasing his production.

Al Horford Wed Jun 19 3:30pm

Boston Celtics forward/centerAl Horfordwill be returning for his 18th NBA season next year. Celtics owner Wyc Grousbeck was on The Greg Hill Show on WEEI, a local Boston radio station, and said, "Al is coming back for next year. That's what I've been told." At 38 years old, Horford won his first NBA championship on Monday as the Celtics defeated the Mavs 106-88. He's suited up for 186 postseason contests and averaged 33.8 minutes, 12.2 points, 8.0 rebounds, 3.3 assists, and 1.2 blocks in his career.

Pascal Siakam Wed Jun 19 3:30pm

According to Scott Agness of Fieldhouse Files, Indiana Pacers forward/centerPascal Siakam is close to signing a long-term contract extension with the team. Siakam had a solid first season as a Pacer and should receive a maximum deal. The All-Star forward compiled averages of 21.3 points, 7.8 rebounds, and 3.7 assists in 41 regular-season contests with the Pacers. In January, he was traded from Toronto for Bruce Brown,Jordan Nwora and three first-round picks.

OG Anunoby Wed Jun 19 3:30pm

New York Knicks forward OG Anunoby might end up elsewhere this offseason. Per ESPN's Brian Windhorst, there have been "indications" that Anunoby may want to test the market as a free agent because he is "not thrilled" with what the Knicks are offering. Reports suggest that Anunoby could land a contract worth $35-40 million per year in free agency. Anunoby was a very good fit with the Knicks after arriving from Toronto on Dec. 30. He averaged 14.1 points, 4.4 rebounds, 1.7 steals, and 1.0 blocks with the team. The Knicks had a fantastic 20-3 regular-season record with him in the lineup.

Bojan Bogdanovic Wed Jun 19 3:30pm

New York Knicks forward Bojan Bogdanovic is set to become a trade piece. According to Michael Scotto of HoopsHype, the Knicks are expected to guarantee Bogdanovic's contract for 2024-25, which would make him a trade candidate for the final season of his deal. Bogdanovic has a $19 million deal in place for next season, but only $2 million of it is guaranteed. The Croatian veteran moved to New York in February in a trade with the Detroit Pistons, averaging 10.4 points and 2.0 rebounds in 19.2 minutes off the bench. He was a good bench piece for the team, but the Knicks could be looking to use his contract in a trade for a star player.

Patty Mills Wed Jun 19 3:30pm

Miami Heat point guard Patty Mills wants to continue his playing career. Mills will turn 36 in August but is eager to remain in the NBA after splitting the 2023-24 campaign between Atlanta and Miami. "I take really good care of myself and my body and the plan is to continue to play until the wheels fall off is how I see it," Mills told Ira Winderman of The South Florida Sun-Sentinel. Mills, who won the NBA championship with San Antonio in 2014, has mostly been used as a veteran presence on teams in recent seasons. He was limited to 13.0 minutes and 4.0 points in 32 appearances in 2023-24.

Klay Thompson Tue Jun 18 3:20pm

According to Shams Charania of The Athletic, impending free-agent guard Klay Thompson is open to all "external options" in free agency this summer. The Warriors want him back. However, it remains to be seen how much Golden State is willing to bid for his services. But considering teams like the Orlando Magic could make Thompson a lucrative offer, his future with the Warriors is all but guaranteed. The 34-year-old averaged 17.9 points last season, his fewest since the 2012-13 campaign. He also started in just 63 of his 77 appearances after getting pulled briefly from the first five during the year. While Thompson's production is frustrating for fantasy managers, he could benefit from a change of scenery, especially if he remains in the starting lineup.

Jaylen Brown Tue Jun 18 3:20pm

Boston Celtics guard/forward Jaylen Brown was named the 2024 Bill Russell NBA Finals MVP after the team closed out Dallas with a 106-86 victory on Monday. Brown, who was also voted the Eastern Conference Finals MVP during Boston's successful playoff campaign, had 21 points, eight rebounds, six assists, and two steals in the title-clincher. He averaged 20.8 points in the Finals with 5.4 rebounds, 5.0 assists and 1.6 steals. The 27-year-old is the seventh Celtics player to be named the Finals MVP, the first since Paul Pierce in 2008. Brown has just entered his prime and should remain a valuable fantasy piece for a long time.