Rich Paul has stated that Bronny James’ draft decision will be based on “team interest” and not projected draft position. “I don’t value a young player getting into the lottery as much as I do getting him on the right team in the right developmental situation,” Paul told ESPN. Furthermore, Paul noted that LeBron James’ long-stated desire to play with his son will not factor into the decision. However, Paul did note that LeBron would be “head over heels” if it happened “organically”. This comment also appeared to put to bed the idea that LeBron would leave the Lakers to play with Bronny.

It has been a less-than-ideal season for Bronny James. Entering college as a top-15 recruit, the start of his season was derailed by a cardiac arrest suffered last July. While that congenital defect has reportedly been addressed, Bronny will still have to get clearance from the NBA’s Fitness to Play panel. Additionally, Bronny has simply not played like an NBA prospect. He has averaged 5/2.8/2.4 a game for a Trojans team that has fallen well short of expectations. Projected to finish second in the Pac-12, USC is second-last in the division with two games left on the schedule.

Read More: Lebron James Watches Bronny’s USC Game While Doing Media Interviews

Austin Rivers And Stephen Jackson Feud Over Bronny James

Rich Paul says Bronny James’ decision to enter 2024 NBA Draft is based on “team interest, not draft position”, per @wojespn.

“I don’t value a young player getting into the lottery as much as I do getting him on the right team in the right developmental situation.” pic.twitter.com/j3KZnTMqIP

— Legion Hoops (@LegionHoops) March 3, 2024

Of course, Bronny’s NBA fit remains a heated point of discussion. Stephen Jackson took offense to Austin Rivers’ rationale behind why LeBron and Bronny shouldn’t play on the same team if Bronny makes the move to the NBA. “Difference is you trash, Bronny not. You can’t compare to him scrub. And your daddy not LeBron. Shut up,” Jackson wrote in the comments on an Instagram post reporting Rivers’ original comments. Rivers later replied to the former NBA player. “All smiles…I didn’t even have to fight my own battles with ignorance, yall corrected it for me!! Thank you for not siding with delusion. Have a blessed day,” Rivers wrote on X, formerly Twitter.

However, Jackson’s reaction was bizarre given that Rivers had been arguing that Bronny doesn’t need the added obstacle of playing in his father’s shadow. “I don’t want to see Bronny play with [LeBron]… Him getting drafted & playing with his dad, I don’t want that negativity to come his way. He doesn’t deserve it… [He needs to] play somewhere where he can niche out his own identity,” Rivers told NBA Today.

Read More: Bronny James Hits Three In Front Of Booing Crowd, But Fans Still Call Cap On His Skill

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