Agent says limited NBA workouts by Bronny James ‘by design’

Agent says limited NBA workouts by Bronny James 'by design'

Sources from six NBA teams told ESPN they’ve had difficulty securing workouts with 2024 prospect Bronny James, but the former USC guard’s agent confirms that James has worked out individually for only two teams at this point — the Phoenix Suns and Los Angeles Lakers — and they say that By design.

Agent Rich Paul, CEO of Klutch Sports Group, responded to ESPN on Wednesday about any notion that James received different treatment than other players throughout the pre-draft process.

The Suns hold the 22nd overall pick and the Lakers 17th and 55th overall in the NBA Draft, which will be held June 26-27 in New York (ABC/ESPN/ESPN+).

Other NBA teams told ESPN they were interested in seeing James in a different context and workout settings than the ones they explored at USC.

“This is nothing new,” Paul said. “The goal is to find a team that appreciates your guy and tries to push him to get there. It’s important to understand the context and realize that this has always been the strategy with many of my clients over the years, especially those who need to develop like Brony is by design.”

Paul pointed to his track record of directing clients to preferred destinations, as he did with Talen Horton Tucker (No. 46 in 2019), Brandon Boston Jr. (No. 51 in 2021) and Chris Livingston (No. 58). pick in 2023) all guaranteed deals despite taking a few workouts and being selected late in the draft.

Ball said he has also taken similar strategies with the likes of first-round picks Marjon Beauchamp (No. 24 pick in 2022) and Darius Garland (No. 5 pick in 2019), shielding his clients from workouts and withholding medical information from teams, something that’s now prohibited under NBA Collective Bargaining Agreement.

“Bronnie is the same as my previous clients,” Paul said. “I told teams early on that if you’re going to sign Bronny, here’s what you need to know: If you don’t give him a real deal, there’s nothing to talk about. It’s hard to get real development on a two-way deal.

“I don’t care about him going to the Lakers, or Phoenix, or what number he gets picked. It’s about fitness.”

Paul later added: “If Bruni’s name was Charles Jacobsen and he was my client – I would do the same thing: identify teams that had a real interest.”

LeBron James has said in the past that he would like to team up with his son, but the Lakers star said after his final game of the season that he hasn’t “thought much lately” about playing alongside Bronny. The four-time MVP and four-time NBA champion has completed his 21st season and could become a free agent if he opts out of his contract with the Lakers.

“The young man is going to decide what he wants to do and how he wants his career to go,” LeBron James said at the time.

At an NBA conference in May, Bronny said his mindset wasn’t so much about playing for his father as it was about “making it to the league.”

“LeBron is out of the idea of ​​having to play with Bronny,” Paul told ESPN on Wednesday. “If he does it, he will. But if he doesn’t, he won’t. There hasn’t been an agreement reached that guarantees that if the Lakers draft Bronny at age 55, he will do it.” [LeBron] I’ll re-sign. If so, I’ll force them to take him when he’s seventeen. We don’t need influence. The Lakers can draft Bronny and LeBron doesn’t re-sign. LeBron also won’t be going to Phoenix for a minimum deal. We can crush that now.

“There are other teams that like Bronny. For example, Minnesota, Dallas and Toronto. If it’s not the Lakers, it will be another team. Minnesota would like Bronny, but I don’t know whose owner it will go to.” He is. [Mavs GM] Nico Harrison is like an uncle to Bronny. If the Lakers don’t take him at 55, Dallas will take him at 58 and give him a guaranteed deal. Masai [Ujiri, Raptors president,] you love him. They can sign him without seeing him at 31 years old. Training is not everything for these teams.”

With the draft still a week away, Paul says Bronny is likely done with workouts barring something unexpected.

“Lakers and Phoenix, that was it,” Paul said. “There might be last-minute things, if someone calls me late. We’ll see.”

Jonathan Givony is an NBA draft expert and founder and co-owner of, a proprietary scouting and analytics service used by NBA, NCAA, and international teams.

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