Lakers News: Draymond Green Expects Bronny James To Be Better Than A Lot Of 2024 NBA Draft Class

Here is the article about Lakers news and Bronny James: When the Los Angeles Lakers were on the board with the 55th overall pick in the second round of the 2024 NBA Draft, it came as no surprise when they selected Bronny James, the oldest son of LeBron James. LeBron has not been shy about wanting to play with his son in the NBA and with Rich Paul doing his part to not get other teams to draft Bronny, he fell into the Lakers' lap at 55. The pick was met with a lot of criticism considering Bronny only played limited minutes and didn't put up big numbers in his lone season at USC after suffering cardiac arrest last summer. Late in the second round though, teams are just drafting players they hope can eventually crack the rotation, and Bronny has the potential to do so, especially after a strong shooting performance at the draft combine. There are NBA players who believe in Bronny's potential with one of them being Golden State Warriors star Draymond Green as he stated on his podcast that he believes the 19-year-old will be better than a lot of players in his draft class:
"We all know what Bronny went through a year ago. To go through that and make it back from that and be in the NBA within a year is a testament to his drive and work ethic. And I actually think Bronny is gonna end up being a better pro than a lot of these players in this draft because he has the athleticism, has the basketball IQ, plays the game the right way. I think he's gonna be a good shooter in the NBA. I'm just gonna take the bet that this kid works hard, which he does. He has LeBron James' DNA and I'm gonna take the bet on that. It makes sense. And then you watch him play and he's a good basketball player. I'm gonna take that bet because you got him at 55, so if he even become s a rotational player, you did great, and I think he could possibly become a rotational player in the next two years."
The pathway to Bronny becoming a legit NBA rotation player is to work on his 3-point shooting and perimeter defense. If he can succeed in those areas then he will be impactful despite his lack of size and playmaking chops. After not playing much at USC though, the main thing for James is just getting minutes to develop his game, and that will likely come at the G League level during his rookie year.

Bronny James will wear No. 9 for Lakers

The Lakers announced the jersey numbers for their 2024 draft class and Bronny James is set to wear No. 9. That was famously worn by Nick Van Exel, and he approves of Bronny rocking his number. Prompt: A young man wearing a Lakers jersey with the number 9, standing on a basketball court and smiling. Have you subscribed to our YouTube channel? It's the best way to watch player interviews, exclusive coverage from events, participate in live shows, and more!

Report: Phil Handy unlikely to return to Lakers after team upset him during last 2 head-coaching searches

According to Anthony Irwin of Lakers Daily, fans of the Los Angeles Lakers shouldn't count on veteran assistant Phil Handy being part of J.J. Redick's coaching staff. "According to sources close to the situation and league sources, the Los Angeles Lakers are unlikely to hire James Borrego, Jared Dudley, Terry Stotts or Sam Cassell," Irwin wrote. "Phil Handy is also unlikely. The Lakers are more open to bringing him back, but sources say he was not at all happy with not being considered for the head coach position the last two opportunities." News surfaced of the Lakers' decision to hire Redick to be the 29th head coach in franchise history earlier this month. Prompt: A basketball coach standing on a basketball court, clipboard in hand, looking focused. Irwin connected Jacque Vaughn and Dwane Casey to Los Angeles as some of the possible candidates to join Redick's staff. "Sources say the Lakers have moved on to candidates lower on their initial list like Jacque Vaughn and Dwane Casey, while still keeping Scott Brooks in mind as they look to surround new head coach J.J. Redick with as much experience as they can find," he wrote. The Lakers fired Handy along with Darvin Ham shortly after the team's stint in the 2024 NBA Playoffs came to a close. Handy wasn't singled out when the Lakers parted ways with him — rather, the entire coaching staff was let go. Handy spent the last five seasons serving as an assistant coach with the storied franchise, starting in the 2019-20 campaign. During that season — when he was a member of Frank Vogel's staff — Los Angeles won the 2020 NBA title, which marked the 17th championship in team history. But the Lakers weren't able to replicate their level of success in the 2019-20 campaign during Handy's next four seasons with the squad. Los Angeles didn't win more than 47 games in any regular season during that span and also earned just two combined playoff series victories. Earlier in his career, Handy served as a player development coach for the Lakers before his coaching journey took him to the Cleveland Cavaliers organization. There, he helped the franchise win the 2016 NBA Finals for its first-ever championship. After his stint with the Cavaliers, he then worked with the Toronto Raptors as an assistant coach for just one season and saw the team win the 2019 title — its first championship in franchise history — after defeating the Golden State Warriors in the NBA Finals. It will be exciting to see where Handy's next stop in his NBA coaching career will be, but given Irwin's reporting, it's seemingly not likely that he will be a coach for the Lakers again in the 2024-25 season.

Nick Van Exel Excited For Bronny James To Wear His Jersey Number With Lakers

On Thursday night, the Los Angeles Lakers came into the second round of the 2024 NBA Draft owning the No. 55 overall, with a few options to choose from once they were on the clock. Although no one knew for sure who the team would take with that second-round draft choice, the consensus seemed to be that they'd bring in Bronny James out of the University of Southern California. After making some noise with arguably the steal of the first round by selecting University of Tennessee star Dalton Knecht at No. 17 overall, the Lakers brass were perceived as big winners in this draft. However, many fans and some within the media are torn about the team seemingly catering to superstar LeBron James by drafting his eldest son. Rob Pelinka and company are selling the move as a chance to make NBA history with a father-son duo on the professional level. With Bronny James' NBA career officially underway, the USC product had to pick the jersey number he wanted. Playing for this franchise with so many retired numbers can be challenging to pick a number, but it seems he's decided to wear No. 9. A notable recent player to wear No. 9 was Rajon Rondo, who ironically could be on JJ Redick's coaching staff, but the most memorable player in Purple and Gold that sported that number was Nick Van Exel, who gave his stamp of approval on X on Friday: Along with Van Exel being OK with the rookie guard wearing his old number, LeBron James also commented on his son being set to wear No. 9, as it appears he was a fan of the former Lakers star: Knecht also had to decide to make on what number he wants to wear as he got his NBA career started with the storied franchise. The former Volunteers star chose to go with No. 4, also worn by a notable former Lakers player, three-time NBA champion Byron Scott. Other players who have worn No. 9 for the Lakers include Matt Barnes and Luol Deng. In contrast, quite a few players in the past sported No. 4, such as Luke Walton, Ron Harper, Antawn Jamison, Adrian Dantley, Ryan Kelly, Joe Hutton, and Frankie King. Prompt: A basketball player wearing a Lakers jersey with the number 9, standing on a basketball court and smiling.

Lakers Rumors: LeBron James Opts Out Of Player Option

For the second straight year, Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James played it coy about his future at the conclusion of the season. Last year after losing to the Denver Nuggets in the Western Conference Finals, James teased the possibility of retirement after 20 NBA seasons. He of course came back and had another exceptional year for the Lakers though, showing that he is still capable of playing at an All-NBA level even at his age. This offseason is different though as while retirement never seemed like a possibility for LeBron, leaving the Lakers is. He came into the summer with a player option for just over $51 million, but the expectation all along was that he would decline it to sign a bigger contract with L.A. or maybe even to test free agency and see what else is out there. While the expectation isn't necessarily that James will leave, especially now that the team has drafted his son Bronny James, he has indeed declined his player option to become a free agent, per Shams Charania of The Athletic: Reports indicated early in the offseason that the Lakers are willing to offer James any contract he is interested in, including the maximum three-year, $164 million extension. As he gets set to enter his 22nd season while turning 40 later this year, the expectation is that James will play at least two more years. At this stage of his career, James is only interested in competing for championships so the Lakers obviously have some work to do to get to that level. It will be fascinating to see if LeBron inks an extension before Rob Pelinka and the front office make their offseason moves, or if he will wait to see what the roster looks like before deciding on his future with the organization. They did end up hiring his friend and podcast co-host JJ Redick to be their head coach though, in addition to drafting Bronny, so all indications remain that James will stay in L.A.

LeBron James and Jeanie Buss' relationship reportedly better than ever

One thing that will be important moving forward is LeBron James' vision being aligned with the Lakers', and that starts up top with owner and governor Jeanie Buss. According to recent reports, James and Buss' relationship is currently 'better than ever' which is a good sign that the Lakers will be able to keep the superstar in the purple and gold for next season and beyond. Have you subscribed to our YouTube channel? It's the best way to watch player interviews, exclusive coverage from events, participate in live shows, and more!

LeBron James to opt out of contract, but plans to return to Los Angeles Lakers: report

LeBron James will opt out of his player option for next season with the intention of working out a new contract with the Los Angeles Lakers, according to multiple reports. James, who will turn 40 in December, would have been paid $51.4 million to play the 2024-25 season if he chose to opt into the one-year player option. Shams Charania with The Athletic was first to report James' intention to opt out. Instead, the NBA legend will become a free agent. But rather than taking his talents to another city, James expects to re-sign with L.A. to close out his illustrious career. According to ESPN's Dave McMenamin, the Lakers intend to offer James the maximum three-year, $162 million contract he is eligible for. That contract would take the 20-time All-Star into the age of 43, which is virtually unheard of for an NBA player. There's speculation, however, that James could take a cheaper, more team-friendly deal so the Lakers could spend more on free agency. Prompt: A photo of LeBron James wearing a Lakers jersey, standing on a basketball court and smiling. The team just hired first-time coach JJ Redick for its head coaching position. Redick, a longtime NBA veteran, is close with James as the pair started a podcast earlier this year. As of Saturday morning, there was no word on what the superstar is looking for in a new contract. The reported decision to return should come as no surprise to basketball fans as the Lakers just selected Lebron "Bronny" James Jr. in the second round of the NBA Draft on Thursday. The duo would become the first father-son pair to play in an NBA game together, if Bronny cracks the Lakers roster for the upcoming season.

Lakers Rumors: There's Sense D'Angelo Russell & Austin Reaves Backcourt Reached Its Ceiling

The Los Angeles Lakers are heading into free agency with some optionality after D'Angelo Russell had a change of heart and decided to exercise his $18.7 million player option for the 2024-25 season. Russell is hoping to stay with the Lakers where he can compete for a championship and thrive under new head coach JJ Redick. That decision is no longer up to him, however, as after opting in, he is eligible to be traded. Given their lack of assets and matchable salaries, the Lakers are expected to explore trades involving Russell this offseason to upgrade their roster. While that may not be easy, the team reportedly believes the backcourt pairing of him and Austin Reaves has reached its ceiling, per Jovan Buha of The Athletic:
"From the Lakers side, I've been told that internally, there is a sense that there is a clear ceiling to the Austin Reaves-D'Angelo Russell backcourt and with Reaves being the younger player, the better defender, the better playoff performer and on a team-friendly, multi-year contract, the Lakers would prefer to keep Austin Reaves out of a trade. And if they are going to split up this backcourt, they are looking to trade Russell, who they also tried to trade at the 2024 trade deadline."
The Lakers preferring to keep Reaves is not shocking for the reasons that Buha laid out. He is on a team-friendly contract and has improved each season. Redick recently said he is looking forward to coaching Reaves, yet another signal that the guard won't be traded. Russell, on the other hand, has a more uncertain future with the organization. The team has been linked to players like Bruce Brown, Jerami Grant and Collin Sexton and trading for any of them would likely need to include Russell. If the Lakers do follow through with trading Russell then they will need to find someone else to pair with Reaves in their backcourt