From June 26 to 27, the Barclays Center in New York will set the stage for the 78th edition of the NBA draft. Standing out among the aspiring players aiming for a spot in the league is Bronny James, the son of NBA icon LeBron James, whose participation is drawing significant interest from analysts and fans alike.

Former NBA player Rashad McCants expressed his views on the future of Bronny James before the Draft, predicting that LeBron James' son would likely start playing professionally after the first two seasons of his career.

Despite inheriting the name and talent genes of one of the NBA's greatest players, the 19-year-old's potential in the league has garnered varied opinions, especially considering his underwhelming college career.

Rashad McCants' opinion

McCants, who had a four-season stint in the NBA, is one of James Jr.’s doubters who commented on Gil's Arena, saying, “[Bronny James] won't be playing in the first two years. That's fine.”

Brandon Jenning interrupted with a question, asking, “You don’t think he’s gone touch the NBA court at all?… His first year?” McCants responded with a quick “Nah.”

“I think that that’s what they’re expecting, that’s why they don’t want to do a two-way contract, cause they’re going to send him down there anyway,” he continued.

Jennings had a different perspective, disagreeing with McCants' theory. McCants cited Emoni Bates, last year's 49th overall pick, as an example. Despite joining the Cleveland Cavaliers, Bates only played in 15 regular-season games.

“Bronny is not close to Emoni as far as that type of game” said Rashad McCants.

LeBron James' son played 25 games for the University of South Carolina, where he averaged 4.8 points, 2.8 rebounds, and 2.1 assists, but his performance showed notable improvement during the recent NBA Draft Combine.

Bronny James' improving draft stock

Bronny James talks to the media during the 2024 NBA Draft Combine at Wintrust Arena. Mandatory Credit: David Banks-USA TODAY Sports
David Banks-USA TODAY Sports

Bronny James made 19 out of 25 three-pointers in the shooting star drill, including 12 consecutive NBA 3s. In a game, he scored 13 points with a 40% shooting accuracy from the field and made 2 out of 3 three-point attempts.

Consequently, Bronny's draft stock has improved following the Draft Combine, leading to his current ranking of 55th in this year's NBA Draft according to ESPN.

As the NBA Draft approaches, one of the key questions revolves around which team Bronny James will join. Given LeBron James' desire to play alongside his son before retiring, the Los Angeles Lakers are emerging as the frontrunners especially with their 17th and 55th picks in the draft.

LeBron's desire has sparked interest from other teams hoping to secure both father and son in a package deal. However, Bronny's agent, Rich Paul, has made it clear that regardless of the team, his client's priority is set.

Bronny has consistently voiced his desire to forge his own path and establish his identity beyond being LeBron James' son. Paul emphasized that teams, including the Lakers, should honor and respect this wish.

“The Lakers need to look at Bronny like everyone else. If they value him enough and he's there, that's great. If it's not the Lakers, that's great. I won't be mad if it's not,” he said.

McCants' prediction about Bronny James possibly not playing during his initial two years could hold true. Nonetheless, whether he's on the NBA court or not, the journey of growth and development will continue.