Indiana Pacers head coach and exec share thoughts on Bronny James ahead of the 2024 NBA Draft

The Pacers have three second-round draft picks
May 14, 2024; Chicago, IL, USA; Bronny James (50) participates in drills during the 2024 NBA Draft Combine  at Wintrust Arena. Mandatory Credit: David Banks-USA TODAY Sports
May 14, 2024; Chicago, IL, USA; Bronny James (50) participates in drills during the 2024 NBA Draft Combine at Wintrust Arena. Mandatory Credit: David Banks-USA TODAY Sports / David Banks-USA TODAY Sports

INDIANAPOLIS — USC guard Bronny James will join the NBA ranks this season, and he is one of the most discussed prospects among the 2024 NBA Draft class. The 19-year old is a fascinating to-be rookie — headlined by the fact that he is the son of NBA great LeBron James but made more intriguing by the college season he just had.

With the Trojans, the younger James missed time after suffering a cardiac arrest last summer. He didn't make his NCAA debut until December 10 and scored 15 points in his fifth game. He was a highly-anticipated player, but his health situation didn't lead to a good start at USC, and James never reached the level some expected. He was the 17th rated prospect entering college.

After a freshman season like that, James is currently projected to be selected 55th overall in the latest mock draft from ESPN. That's late in the second round, meaning most teams would have a chance to pick the Ohio native.

The Indiana Pacers hold picks 36, 49, and 50 in the upcoming draft. They are one of seven franchises with more than two picks, and they brought in nearly 40 prospects for pre-draft workouts. They're prepared for draft night.

Indiana's Vice President of Players Personnel, Ryan Carr, was asked about Bronny James earlier this week. "It's unique. Bronny is a good player," he said of the young guard's pre-draft process. "I think they are working to put him in the best possible situation. We'll see. Time will tell."

James did not work out in front of Pacers executives, and his agent, Rich Paul, told ESPN that he has only had a pre-draft session with the Los Angeles Lakers — where LeBron plays — and the Phoenix Suns. Paul added that the Minnesota Timberwolves, Toronto Raptors, and Dallas Mavericks have shown interest in the USC product.

In the past, LeBron expressed that he would like to play with his son someday. Paul shared with ESPN that reality has changed, though, so more teams may be interested in securing Bronny's services in the draft. While many draft predictions suggest that Bronny could be selected late in the second round, Pacers head coach Rick Carlisle seems to think he could be picked sooner.

"I'm going to go out on a limb here and predict that he goes quite a bit higher than that," Carlisle said on the Green Light with Chris Long podcast. "I'm not going to say who, I don't want to get fined. I've been fined enough this year during the playoffs," he added to the two-time Super Bowl winning defensive end.

At USC, Bronny James averaged 4.8 points, 2.8 rebounds, and 2.1 assists per game. The NBA Draft begins this coming Wednesday.

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Tony East


Tony East is the Publisher of AllPacers. He has previously written for Forbes Sports, the West Indianapolis Community News, WTHR, and more while hosting the Locked On Pacers podcast.