Knicks named as a top-three landing spot for heralded 2024 NBA Draft prospect

Bronny James, Knicks
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The New York Knicks could take the most popular entrant in the 2024 NBA Draft with their second-round pick come June.

Knicks could land an excellent defender in Round 2 of the NBA Draft

Bleacher Report’s Andy Bailey listed the Knicks’ No. 38 overall pick as one of the likeliest slots that USC star Bronny James could get drafted at, classifying him as a “potential NBA-level defender” that would fit “the profile of a Tom Thibodeau guard to a T,” (h/t Jordanna Clark of Daily Knicks).

Bronny James made the most of his minutes on defense as a freshman at USC

Mar 13, 2024; Las Vegas, NV, USA; USC Trojans guard Bronny James (6) defends against Washington Huskies guard Koren Johnson (0) during the second half at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports
Mar 13, 2024; Las Vegas, NV, USA; USC Trojans guard Bronny James (6) defends against Washington Huskies guard Koren Johnson (0) during the second half at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports

James displayed a high IQ on defense in his freshman season at USC. The 19-year-old pick-pocketed 0.8 steals in 19.4 minutes of action for the Trojans in 2023. He ranked No. 5 in takeaways among all players who saw less than 20 minutes per game in the Pac-12 Conference. Beyond the numbers, James’ athleticism and court awareness allowed him to play sound team defense and individually stand out against playmakers.

Bronny could wind up on the Knicks even if his father LeBron James stays in L.A.

Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James (23) during the fourth quarter against the New York Knicks at Madison Square Garden
Feb 3, 2024; New York, New York, USA; Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James (23) during the fourth quarter against the New York Knicks at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

He and the Knicks have been inextricably linked for months thanks in part to beliefs held within NBA circles that his father, Los Angeles Lakers superstar LeBron James, could leave L.A. for whichever team his son gets drafted to in order for them to share the floor before he retires. Bailey made sure to accentuate that while the younger James’ name has gotten a boost because of his father, his game impresses on his own merit.

The California native is a young prospect with a high ceiling. Bronny showed flashes of brilliance in spurts as a freshman. While many believe that one more season in college would have done his game justice, he already has a body, strength, and conditioning level and three-point range that is ready for the Association.

The younger James’ upside could gift the Knicks with a promising talent that could develop into a well-rounded three-and-d contributor in the league.

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