Lakers News: LeBron James’ Son Bronny Transferring From USC, Is LeBron LA Exit Next?

Jan 10, 2024; Los Angeles, California, USA; Southern California Trojans guard Bronny James (6) is greeted by his parents LeBron and Savannah.
Jan 10, 2024; Los Angeles, California, USA; Southern California Trojans guard Bronny James (6) is greeted by his parents LeBron and Savannah. / Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

All-Star Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James' eldest son Bronny, a freshman combo guard at USC, seems to be following in his father's footsteps. LeBron has left his incumbent teams four times in free agency, largely kicking off the craziest era of player movement in the NBA's history ever since he first ditched the Cleveland Cavaliers for the Miami Heat in the summer of 2010.

Bronny, too, is alleged to be exploring the college equivalent of free agency. According to Kaiden Smith of On3, based on a since-deleted report from reporter Dick Weiss, the 19-year-old former four-star recruit out of Chatsworth's Sierra Canyon School is looking to enter the NCAA's transfer portal now, that his 2023-24 season head coach Andy Enfield is departing for Southern Methodist University.

If true, this would represent a bold play for the 6'4" reserve. The younger James failed to ever truly take off during his first NCAA season. In his 25 healthy games, he averaged 4.8 points on a disappointing slash line of .366/.267/.676. The 19-year-old also contributed 2.8 boards, 2.1 dimes and 0.8 swipes, while averaging just 19.6 minutes per bout, mostly off the bench (he did start six games). He only scored in double digits three times, with his most robust offensive night happening with a 15-point outburst in a December loss to Oregon State.

Now, Bronny is apparently looking to start fresh somewhere else. His Akron-native dad has long maintained that, had he opted for college and not to play in the league at age 18 in 2003 (under a prior CBA), he would have played at Ohio State University. Bronny, too, was born in Akron, although he grew up traveling with his dad at his various stops in Ohio, Miami, Ohio again, and finally Los Angeles. Will he consider OSU?

The 2023-24 iteration of the club fired its head coach, Chris Holtmann, midway through the season, replacing him with Jake Diebler. The Buckeyes finished with a 22-14 overall record but did not make the Big Dance.

So what does this mean for LeBron James' future, if it does come to pass? The 20-time All-Star, 39 and playing in his 21st season, will clearly not be suiting up alongside Bronny James next year, as he had perhaps hoped to do. He has a $51.4 million player option for 2024-25 with LA, but could also become a free agent. It seems like, given all his business dealings in town and his ability to remain a focal point on a competitive roster, he will stick around, but this certainly could give him pause. We'll have to see.

UPDATE:

In postgame remarks following a 128-111 blowout victory over the lowly Toronto Raptors tonight (where he scored 23 points in just 28:47), James claimed that Bronny had not yet decided to depart USC despite the report, as Noah Camras of Newsweek relays.


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Alex Kirschenbaum

ALEX KIRSCHENBAUM

Basketball is Alex's favorite sport, he likes the way they dribble up and down the court.