He’s arguably the most coveted basketball prospect in the world, and with Bronny James’ commitment still up in the air, the NBL has once again confirmed that they are desperately trying to bring the son of LeBron James down under.
Currently a senior at Sierra Canyon High School in Los Angeles, Bronny will have his pick of college options, already having received interest from Memphis, Ohio State, USC, Duke, Kansas, Kentucky, Michigan, North Carolina, and Oregon.
According to CBS, he has whittled this list down to three finalists: USC, Ohio State, and Oregon, but LeBron James has said that he thinks “Bronny can go to any college he wants to… all I have to do is pick up the phone. If Bronny says he wants to go there, he’s good enough.”
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In addition to college, Bronny will also receive significant attention from the G-League Ignite, the development team in the NBA’s second-tier G-League, which has produced players including New Orleans Pelicans guard Dyson Daniels, and presumptive 2023 number two pick Scoot Henderson.
But the NBL is no stranger to a basketball coup, famously securing the services of current Charlotte Hornets star LaMelo Ball and it could be a dark horse candidate in securing Bronny James.
Could Bronny James come to the NBL?
It’s unlikely that the NBL will be able to entice Bronny James, but this hasn’t stopped the Australian league from pulling out all the stops in courting the 18-year-old.
Speaking to NewsCorp on Tuesday, NBL owner Larry Kestelman admitted that it would be a tall task to sign the youngster, but that the league was intent on doing everything they could.
“We have absolutely reached out and there’s the start of a conversation but it’s very early days,” Kestelman said.
“It would be incredible to see, not just him, but I know there was a conversation about him and LeBron playing one season together.
“It’s a long shot, but the conversation has begun and we’ll be in the mix.”
MORE: Where is Bronny James going to college? | Bronny James scouting report: NBA Draft eligibility, strengths, weaknesses
This sentiment was echoed by league commissioner Jeremy Loeliger, who gave an impassioned plea to Bronny while speaking to radio station SEN.
“Bronny, if you’re listening, we’re here mate. We have a spot for you.”
– Jeremy Loeliger on the NBL’s interest on Bronny James
— Whateley (@WhateleySEN) January 23, 2023
“Bronny, if you’re listening, we’re here mate. We have a spot for you,” Loeliger said.
Which NBL team would Bronny James play for?
Unlike a normal player signing, if Bronny James entered the NBL through the NextStars program, then he would be signing a contract with the league, which would then assign him to a team that they deem suitable.
Some notable players who have come through the NextStars pathway include LaMelo Ball, who played with the Illawarra Hawks, RJ Hampton, who played for the New Zealand Breakers, and Josh Giddey, who was a member of the Adelaide 36ers.
Bronny James putting on a defensive clinic here in the first half. Already has 2 steals and a block to go along with a pair of 3s. Making the right play passing ahead to teammates unselfishly. Improving physically and skill-wise every time I see him. pic.twitter.com/6OUSC4XlSU
— Jonathan Givony (@DraftExpress) January 16, 2023
This hasn’t stopped teams from shooting their shot though; last March Sydney Kings owner Paul Smith made his thoughts known about where Bronny should end up.
“There’s only one city that’s big enough for LeBron and Bronny, and that’s Sydney,” Smith said.
“We’d fill 18,000 seats every week.”
While Sydney does seem like an obvious choice for marketing reasons, the NBL has shown they’re not scared to send a big-name player to a smaller team; LaMelo Ball was famously assigned to one of the NBL’s smallest teams in the Illawarra Hawks, and still proved to be a massive windfall for the team and the league.
Will Bronny James get drafted into the NBA?
While he might not be the world-beating juggernaut that his father is, Bronny James is still considered a high-level NBA prospect.
ESPN have him ranked 28th in the top 100 of the Class of 2023, while 247Sports have him 34th, with the consensus being that he will be a late first or early second-round pick.
Honestly think there would be benefits to Bronny playing in NBL. He’d actually be effective as a guard who is a great athlete, very willing defender, and good shooter. Just depends if LeBron and his familiy want to play up the intense spotlight or get Bronny out of it for a year
— Sam Vecenie (@Sam_Vecenie) January 23, 2023
However, this could be a reason for him to consider the NBL; Ball was ranked 21st by ESPN before his year in Australia, going on to be taken with the third pick in the 2020 NBA Draft.
No matter where Bronny James plays before the NBA, it is all but certain he will wind up being drafted by an NBA team, with his mix of talent and lineage too enticing to pass up.