Here’s one way to pitch LeBron James to stay put in Los Angeles: Draft his son, Bronny. 

James has a $51.4 million player option for the 2024-2025 season, and The Athletic is reporting the Lakers are “willing to explore the notion” of adding Bronny James as a rookie next season if that means the NBA’s all-time leading scorer remains in Los Angeles.

It’s unknown whether Bronny will enter the 2024 NBA Draft, but he has eligibility to do so after his freshman season at USC. Drafting Bronny would make his father happy, and the Lakers are well aware of that, per The Athletic.

It’s also not a secret that LeBron, playing in his 21st NBA season this year, wants to play with his son. Because of that, though, The Athletic reports that other teams are thinking about pursuing Bronny if and when he enters the NBA Draft in the hopes of landing LeBron.

The Golden State Warriors did make a push prior to this year’s NBA trade deadline to acquire James amid its push for yet another NBA title. James and the Lakers both didn’t sign off on it.

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However, some rival executives of the Lakers are “increasingly convinced” LeBron wants to leave the Lakers, per The Athletic. 

LeBron turns 40 at the end of the year, though he continues to be one of the top players in the NBA, which is why teams are always after his services, if made available. He’s averaging 24.8 points, 7.2 rebounds and 7.8 assists per game.

LeBron James yells at Bronny James

Meanwhile, Bronny isn’t producing like someone who would go in the first round in the 2024 NBA Draft. In fact, he might not even be doing enough in his freshman year with a lackluster Trojans squad to be a lottery pick.

Bronny is averaging 5.8 points, 3.0 rebounds and 2.6 assists per game over 16 contests, six of which he received the start. He’s also shooting just 35.6% from the field, including 27.1% from three-point territory.

It’s also worth noting that Bronny suffered cardiac arrest this past July, which forced him to miss time to start the season. He ended up being able to play in December.

Bronny James and LeBron James handshake on stage

All of that said, if LeBron is a package deal with Bronny being selected, perhaps a team would be willing to let the father work with his son, with help from the rest of the coaching staff, to improve Bronny’s play at the next level if it means his 20-time All-Star father enters the fold.

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