Mark Cuban drops a bombshell on the falling draft stock that is Bronny James - who is most famous for being the kin of some guy named LeBron James. But contemporary to the mainstream belief about Bronny getting picked up as a late second, I’m here assuring Bronny hits those lottery boards (1st-14th pick). But first, Mark Cuban.
“I don’t know,” the Dallas Mavericks owner said in a recent talk on the “Pardon My Take” podcast. “It depends on the circumstances and how good Bronny is. Would I just burn (a second-round pick) just to burn it? Probably not. And again, we’ll have this guy named Luka (Doncic), who is really, really good. And so it would really depend on the team that we have around him."
All of Bronny’s draft stock lies upon LeBron's one-on-one interview with The Athletic's Jason Llyod, in where he famously expressed,
“Wherever Bronny is at, that’s where I’ll be. I would do whatever it takes to play with my son for one year. It’s not about the money at that point.”
Draft picks are not signed checks
Here are the notable second-round draft picks from groups of 30 since 2010.
2010: Hassan Whiteside and Lance Stevenson
2011: Davis Bertans, Isaiah Thomas, Bojan Bogdanovic, and Chandler Parsons
2012: Khris Middleton, Draymond Green, and Jae Crowder
2014: Nikola Jokic, Jordan Clarkston, Jerami Grant, Spencer Dinwiddie, and Joe Harris
2015: Montrezz Harrell
2016: Malcomb Brogdon
2017: Dillon Brooks
2019: Daniel Gafford
2021: Herb Jones
Again, there are 30 selections for every year, and GMs are well aware of the hail mary-like chance of landing anything. The untold truth is that the land of the firsts is not much greener.
According to a KSR report, the average NBA Draft will produce a total of
- 1.78 players who can be viewed as Hall of Famers.
- 7.07 players who will perform at near an all-star level per draft.
- 18.36 players who should be considered ‘good’ and average a win share rate of at least 20
Nothing is assured in the draft, but there is a level of certainty that comes with signing LeBron and his son, even when the King is 40.
The guarantees of having LeBron James at any age
LeBron’s stats might not show it, but he has slowed down, meaning there are fewer boxes you can tick for predicting a good enough version of a 40-year old LeBron. He's less athletic (he makes up for this in passing), less physical (he makes up for this in shooting), and less durable (he makes up for this in IQ with carefully selected times to exert effort).
But LeBron's guarantees are so profitable that every team will question what they can do to get him.
This won’t be some MJ at the Wizards type of leader. Although he was still an All-Star, no one wants a veteran rocking up to games with a cigar and stories of his last night’s poker wins. The dysfunction of those early 2000 Wizards teams is a testament to this. But as LeBron has made it so clear, he is not MJ. LeBron is the eutopic figure for game preparedness and body maintenance throughout the entire sports world.
But LeBron is like a Marvel character; you sign him, you sign his friends, or in this case, his superstar proteges. Reread those draft stats again and ask yourself, if there is only a 50% chance LeBron will tag along with another All-Star, would that not be totally worth it? It would be worth it to have LeBron himself.
The major con of signing LeBron and Bronny to begin an era
LeBron will always have a big frame and an unparalleled I.Q, meaning it is extremely unlikely that the team that drafts Bronny and father will have someone else they prefer with the ball in their hands, especially if they are a lottery team. So, in other words, wherever LeBron goes, the team is now the LeBron Show.
Role players lose touches and opportunities.
Everyone turns into a specialist.
Development is stunted.
This will be something management, coaches, and players need to be aware of.
But even at 40, cmon, it’s LeBron James.