The next two weeks could elicit an array of emotions from Los Angeles Lakers fans, but the one guarantee is that this stretch will be hectic. General manager Rob Pelinka must continue to conduct a head coaching search, prepare for the June 26-27 NBA Draft and then dive into the free agency pool a few days later.

It is not an understatement to say this is a crucial offseason for the franchise, one that could map out the future beyond just the LeBron James era.

Make no mistake, though, the four-time champion is still at the nucleus of the Lakers' plans. The agenda is a bit muddied, but the preeminent objective is obvious– re-sign James after he inevitably opts out of his current contract with the team.

One way to ensure that the NBA's all-time scoring leader is in good spirits when he presumably hits the open market at the end of the month is to give him the opportunity to play the game he loves with his son, Bronny James. Although the “nepotism” narrative has been consumed by many fans throughout the year, the former USC guard reportedly carries more appeal to the organization than just the affect his presence can have on his father's free agency decision.

In fact, one individual in the industry is comparing him to a former top-10 draft pick and NBA veteran. Of course, the James name could still help boost his stock a bit.

Can Bronny James stick in NBA as a role player?

“I think Bronny will go in the draft because of who he is, and some team will really think LeBron will come if they draft him,” an NBA scout told HoopsHype's Michael Scotto.

“If the Lakers keep their pick, they won’t pass on him. He’s a decent player. He’s better than some guys who may get picked ahead of him. He’s solid, not spectacular. He knows how to play. He can handle the ball well enough. If you leave him alone, he’ll drill a three. He reminds me of Austin Rivers as a player, and he’s stayed in the league for over a decade.”

While being lauded when he came out of Duke in 2012, Rivers underwhelmed at the professional level. The 31-year-old, who has spent the last year doing some analyst work, did carve out a role for himself in the league, though. He has averaged 8.5 points while shooting just under 35 percent from 3-point land in 707 games.

Given the amount of conversations that revolve around Bronny James, one could understand why him being likened to the NBA version of Rivers would be a bit disappointing. Hopefully, however, fans are fully aware by now that there is a risk of the hype outweighing the finished product. Similar to James, Rivers has dealt with nepotism chatter throughout his adulthood.

Bronny James is a wild card, but less of one than he was two months ago

Southern California Trojans guard Bronny James (6) pulls down a defensive rebound from Arizona Wildcats guard Jaden Bradley (0) during the first half at T-Mobile Arena.
Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports

After undergoing cardiac arrest last summer, James struggled in his lone season with the Trojans. He posted a concerning 36.6 field goal percentage and did not even average 20 minutes a night on a team that fell near the bottom of the Pac-12 standings. A logjam of guards and his health crisis could have feasibly impacted his production in a negative manner, however.

James' performance at the NBA Draft Combine reinforced that belief for many pundits and fans. He displayed strong instincts, vision, movement and defensive skills during the showcase and apparently increased his draft profile. There is a widely held belief that the Lakers would select him regardless, but this young athlete has reportedly accomplished enough on his own merit to hear his name called at the Barclays Center.

It is unclear how LA specifically touches up its roster, but an upgrade is needed to keep pace with a brutal Western Conference. The team has been linked to multiple stars over the past few months, so Pelinka might have a grand vision in mind. But those can be tough to pull off, particularly in this trade market. A solid bench piece is much more attainable and also something the Lakers could use.

Can Bronny James, under the tutelage of LeBron James, fulfill that role for the Purple and Gold? Time will tell, but there is an expectation that he could log a decent workload in the pros. And that is a promising outlook for a player who has faced the kind of tribulations, both on and off the court, that he has in the last year.

The Lakers own the No. 17 and No. 55 picks in the 2024 NBA Draft.