The offspring athlete of an all-time great is often forced to live in their father's shadow. That is just an unfortunate fact of life. But Bronny James' agent, Rich Paul, seems determined to make sure that this narrative expands to even bigger and more challenging heights. With the Klutch Sports Group founder's unconventional and deliberate approach, James appears destined to wind up with the Los Angeles Lakers at the 2024 NBA Draft.

Already a polarizing prospect, the 19-year-old will be subjected to unimaginable exposure if he becomes teammates with LeBron James. Multiple things have to happen before the historic father-son union can occur, but all signs indicate that it is likely to happen. The first piece to slide into place is LA selecting the former USC guard, presumably with the No. 55 overall pick.

Because Paul had his client only work out for the Lakers and Phoenix Suns, there are just a few logical spots for James. And when considering the fact that the Suns do not currently own a second-round selection in this year's draft, there may be no other realistic alternative to the Purple and Gold.

“If Bronny had worked out for more teams, there would have been real momentum surrounding him possibly being

a late first-round prospect,” ClutchPoints NBA insider Brett Siegel wrote in his latest mock draft.

“Now, with everyone knowing that Paul wants Bronny in Los Angeles, the Lakers can fulfill LeBron's wish of playing with his son. At this point, many NBA scouts feel as if Bronny will end up with the Lakers either as a second-round pick or an undrafted free agent.”

This is the prevailing stance, as Michael Scotto of HoopsHype believes the talent “is entrenched” to LA.

Bronny James could be set for a wild ride with Lakers

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

Bronny James has stated his intention of making his own way to the league, but with his camp refusing to agree to a two-way contract (would spend time in both NBA and G League) and keeping other potential suitors at bay, many fans will inevitably be skeptical.

When an agent takes strong action with a top-tier talent, some people are turned off. When an agent uses such tactics with a projected second-rounder, annoyance turns to dismay and frustration. Hopefully, James can avoid backlash when he makes his expected NBA debut. He endured a serious health incident last summer, fought his way back to action, faced more adversity on the court in his freshman season and then won scouts and fans over with his showing at the NBA Combine.

All of these tribulations and triumphs came while he was under immense scrutiny, and yet, James is on the verge of reaching The Association. How he arrives there might draw harsh reactions, but the former McDonald's All-American has not run away from the pressure or skepticism to this point.

LeBron James' presence will probably help his son get to the Lakers, but perhaps Bronny James' mental fortitude will enable him to stick on the roster. Although his defense and developing jump shot will obviously also have to be effective, withstanding suffocating attention will prove people that he inherited one of his father's most underrated qualities.

And thanks to comments made by the NBA legend and Rich Paul, James will probably need to push a bit harder to quiet some of the overwhelming noise.