Why Lakers' JJ Redick hire makes it even more likely they will pick Bronny James in 2024 NBA Draft

why lakers' jj redick hire makes it even more likely they will pick bronny james in 2024 nba draft

Why Lakers' JJ Redick hire makes it even more likely they will pick Bronny James in 2024 NBA Draft

The Los Angeles Lakers ended their coaching search on Thursday by hiring former NBA veteran and ESPN analyst/broadcaster JJ Redick. The first-time coach will lead one of the most prominent franchises in professional sports after never coaching at the professional or amateur level.

Redick has been co-hosting the "Mind the Game" podcast with current Lakers superstar LeBron James since March. The hire of Redick is the latest clue and signal that Bronny James -- LeBron's oldest son -- will be a member of the Lakers sometime next week during the two-day NBA Draft that starts on Wednesday.

The Lakers hold two picks (Nos. 17 and 55) in the draft. I'm here to tell you that one will be used to draft the USC star.

If you have followed this development since Bronny enrolled at Sierra Canyon High School in Southern California in 2019 less than a year after his father joined the Lakers in free agency, you knew the logical plan was to have the father-son duo on the same team one day. For all the records LeBron has broken and the accolades he has received in his illustrious career, you would think teaming up on the same team with his son to become the first father-son duo to play together in the NBA would top that list.

"I need to be on the floor with my boy, I got to be on the floor with Bronny," LeBron said last year during an interview with ESPN. "Either in the same uniform or a matchup against him. I don't mean like [guarding one another all game] -- because he's a point guard and I'm a, at this point now I'm playing center or whatever the team needs from me. But I would love to do the whole Ken Griffey Sr. and Jr. thing. That would be ideal for sure.

"I ask him what are his aspirations, and he says he wants to play in the NBA. So, if he wants do to it, he's got to put in the work. I'm here already, so, I'm just waiting on him."

Klutch Sports CEO Rich Paul, who serves as Bronny and LeBron's agent, spoke publicly to ESPN this week about limiting the pre-draft workouts of his client by design. Paul confirmed he was doing it to ensure that Bronny, who has only worked out with the Phoenix Suns and Lakers thus far, goes to a team that's a good fit and will offer him a guaranteed deal.

"This is nothing new," Paul told ESPN. "The goal is to find a team that values your guy and try to push him to get there. It's important to understand the context and realize that this has always been the strategy with many of my clients throughout the years, especially those in need of development like Bronny. My stuff is by design."

For the first time since James joined the Lakers six years ago, he could enter free agency. James has a $51.4 million player option with the Lakers that he can choose to accept or decline by June 29. While Paul pushed back on the notion that the father-son duo are tied together, it makes too much sense not to see them play together.

"LeBron is off this idea of having to play with Bronny," Paul said. "If he does, he does. But if he doesn't, he doesn't. There's no deal made that it's guaranteed that if the Lakers draft Bronny at 55, he [LeBron] will re-sign. If that was the case, I would force them to take him at 17. We don't need leverage. The Lakers can draft Bronny, and LeBron doesn't re-sign. LeBron is also not going to Phoenix for a minimum deal. We can squash that now."

The Lakers can make all parties happy by drafting Bronny. LeBron has another incentive to re-sign with Los Angeles for the remainder of his career. Bronny gets a chance to develop as a player at the highest level after his freshman season at USC was delayed due to a health scare. Redick gets to coach the duo while also playing a factor in Bronny's development.

As I wrote this week, I would be stunned if Bronny isn't a member of the Lakers by the end of the draft. Pivoting back to hiring Redick after publicly striking out on UConn coach Dan Hurley affirms it's not a matter of if but when (and what pick) the Lakers will use to draft Bronny.

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