Former USC basketball guard Bronny James aspires to start his professional career in 2024 after leaving his name in the NBA Draft. James' freshman season with the Trojans did not go how he planned, but his NBA Draft Combine performance redeemed him. Moreover, experts have re-ranked James' spot amid his alleged pre-draft workout preferences.

In late May, James reportedly had at least 10 NBA teams reach out to him about pre-draft workouts. However, he was initially selective, focusing on the Los Angeles Lakers' and Phoenix Suns' invitations. As a result, this caused concern about his rankings in mock drafts. James' agent, Rich Paul, has since indicated that the star guard has expanded interests.

ClutchPoints' NBA Insider Brett Siegel previously predicted James to go 46th overall to the Los Angeles Clippers shortly after the guard's impressive NBA Draft Combine workout. Things have gotten a twist for the third iteration of the mock draft though. James is now projected to be selected with the 55th pick, possessed by the Lakers, per insight from Siegel.

“There have been whispers that even though Rich Paul has shown a willingness to have Bronny workout for a few teams, there are many who are skeptical about their true intentions. That is why there is a belief that Bronny, or Paul, doesn't want to play for any team that isn't willing to take him in the first round. Hence, this is why the Lakers at the end of the draft are viewed as the most likely scenario,” Siegel explained.

If James falls to the second round, the belief is that his camp wants him in Los Angeles. Furthermore, the idea of pushing James as a first-round pick is believed to be a tactic to generate more draft interest in him. It will be interesting to see where the former USC basketball guard lands amid a rapidly changing draft landscape.

Bronny James navigates his way to the 2024 NBA Draft

Bronny James (50) takes a shot during the 2024 NBA Draft Combine at Wintrust Arena
David Banks-USA TODAY Sports

Regardless of whether James is a first or second-round pick, experts are confident in his ability to play professionally and develop. James ranks 55th on the third release of ClutchPoints' 2024 NBA Draft Big Board. His athleticism and defensive instincts are big sells to teams looking for a new guard contributor.

James impressed several scouts at the Draft Combine. The 6'4″ guard excelled in the pro lane agility drill and achieved a 40-and-a-half-inch max leap vertical. In addition, he showed his defensive prowess and offensive potential during the event scrimmages. He scored 13 points in his second game.

James' 13-point outing helped show analysts that can be a serviceable scorer at the next level. His short USC basketball tenure only saw him score 4.8 points and shoot 26.8 percent on three-pointers. He struggled to regain his rhythm after his scary health scare during the summer of 2023. Yet, there is no question of James' potential. After all, he averaged 13.8 points and 1.8 steals as a high school senior, earning five-star recruit status and a McDonald's All-American honor.

All things considered, James has a real chance to start his NBA career in 2024.