USC's Bronny James entering NBA draft, transfer portal

ByAdrian Wojnarowski ESPN logo
Friday, April 5, 2024
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USCfreshman guard Bronny James will enter the 2024 NBA draft while maintaining his college eligibility and will also enter the transfer portal, he said Friday on Instagram.

James had been expected to have a major impact on USC after earning McDonald's All American honors in high school, but a July cardiac arrest episode and a procedure to treat a congenital heart defect sidelined him for five months and severely impacted his productivity as a freshman at USC.

James averaged 4.8 points, 2.8 rebounds and 2.1 assists in 19 minutes a game.

Bronny James
USC guard Bronny James dribbles as members of Long Beach State watch from the bench during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game Sunday, Dec. 10, 2023.

USC coach Andy Enfield recently left for SMU, and the Trojans hired Arkansas'Eric Musselman on Thursday.

In the aftermath of the cardiac arrest and heart procedure, James will need to be evaluated and approved by the NBA's Fitness to Play Panel before he can become eligible to participate in team workouts, the draft combine in May or be selected in the draft. He can conduct interviews with teams without the medical clearance.

The NBA's new collective bargaining agreement requires that players invited to the Chicago draft combine must participate in the scouting event for teams and submit to a physical.

The pre-draft plan will be for James to meet with targeted teams for workouts and interviews prior to the May 31 deadline to stay in the draft and find out whether there's a potential developmental situation -- regardless of draft position -- that would make sense for him to stay in the draft.

Agent Rich Paul, the CEO of Klutch Sports who will represent James, told ESPN in March, "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 also represents Bronny's father,LeBron James. One factor that won't come into play on Bronny's decision: a requirement that he ended up playing on the same team as his father.

"LeBron wants Bronny to be his own man," Paul told ESPN in March.

If Bronny James decides to return to college and transfer elsewhere, Duquesneis expected to be among his prominent considerations, sources said. Duquesne's new coach, Dru Joyce, was a high school teammate of LeBron's and a longtime James family friend. Joyce was promoted to head coach after Keith Dambrot retired following an Atlantic 10 championship and a run to the NCAA tournament. Dambrot was the high school coach of James and Joyce at St. Vincent-St. Mary in Akron, Ohio.

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