Agent: Bronny James ‘will be a glue guy on an NBA team’

LeBron James’ longtime friend and agent, Rich Paul, has been entrusted to guide the career of Bronny James, who has thrown his name into the 2024 NBA Draft.

And in an exclusive interview with Bleacher Report, published Friday, Paul said he intends to find the right fit for the younger James. And if it happens to mean he’ll be playing with his superstar father, then so be it.

“Well, LeBron said he wanted to play with his son. Bronny can’t do anything about that,” said Paul, CEO of Klutch Sports. “And that’s nothing we should push back on. If he wants to play with his son, that’s that. But again, I have a job to do representing Bronny and LeBron.

“LeBron’s season’s over. I’m focused on Bronny and the rest of our draft class. If it aligns where he can play with his dad, great. Am I necessarily focused on that? No, not at all. I’m focused on a team plan, investment and a seriousness as it pertains to fit and opportunity.”

In a wide-ranging interview, Paul also addressed just where Bronny James — who is coming off his freshman season at Southern California — might land in the draft.

Bronny James, 19, suffered cardiac arrest during a practice in July and subsequently underwent a procedure to address a congenital heart defect. He didn’t make his college debut until Dec. 10.

A 6-foot-4 guard, James averaged 4.8 points, 2.8 rebounds and 2.1 assists per game, shooting 36.6 percent from the field over 19.3 minutes.

“Bronny’s range has been all over. Some teams think he goes 20 to 40, some say 30-50, and some teams think he’ll go undrafted,” Paul said. “It just takes one team.”

The Athletic reported Friday that there are limits on the teams Bronny James will visit before the June 26-27 draft. While he has more than 10 invitations to work out, he is expected to accept the offers from few teams.

Among them are the Phoenix Suns, who have the No. 22 pick in the draft, and his father’s team, the Los Angeles Lakers, per the report.

The Lakers have the No. 17 and 55 picks. Paul told Bleacher Report he will not accept a two-way developmental deal for the player.

Wherever Bronny James winds up, Paul said a team will be getting a player with a big upside.

“Bronny’s a guy who can come in to defend, make the right read, can shoot the ball pretty well and has good athleticism,” Paul said in the interview. “And in addition to that, when you start checking the boxes on character, that actually exceed his talent.”

He continued, saying the younger James will “be a good pro because he’s extremely talented and smart.”

“When it comes to talent, a foundation, structure, Bronny actually has had that, and he will be a glue guy on an NBA team,” Paul said. “Maybe he can become an All-Star one day. As we all know, we’ve seen guys become All-Stars who were drafted in the second round or went undrafted. Fred VanVleet wasn’t drafted. Naz Reid was undrafted. If you’re looking for examples, there you go.”

If Paul and Bronny James don’t like the feedback they receive from teams, the deadline to withdraw from the draft is June 16. When he announced last month that he’d be entering the draft, Bronny James also said he would put his name in the transfer portal, should he decide to return to school for another year.

–Field Level Media