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The easiest path for LeBron and Bronny James to team up together on the Los Angeles Lakers

There are two potential routes for the Lakers to acquire Bronny James.
Bronny James and Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James

Bronny James and LeBron James

With LeBron James' pending contract extension with the Los Angeles Lakers hanging in the balance, there's been a lot of talk about the 4-time champion's future. James has made it known that his dream is to one day compete alongside his first-born son Bronny James (who is expected to graduate high school next year), and it seems LeBron is willing to do anything to make his wishes come true. But will the Lakers abide by it? If so, given their limited future assets, here's how L.A. can do it.

The Lakers can make LeBron's wishes come true

Since Bronny isn't expected to be drafted number 1 in the future (unless his ranking dramatically goes up in the next 2 years), there's an easier path for him and his father to team up. The Atheltic's NBA reporter Joe Vardon mentioned that the Lakers can make it happen by utilizing their 2024 1st round draft pick (which is currently owned by the New Orleans Pelicans) if Pelicans' General Manager David Griffin chooses the rights to their 2025 first-round pick instead.

So, in short, one way the Lakers can draft Bronny is to convince the Pelicans to acquire their 2025 first-round pick instead of their pick in 2024. Remember, Griffin and James have a storied history together during their time in Clevland, so if the general manager decides to be kind to James and the Lakers, that certainly helps the Lakers claim Bronny in the first round of the 2024 draft.

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But if Griffin really likes his chances of acquiring a high-caliber prospect in 2024 for the Pelicans, then the Lakers have no picks on that year. However, Los Angeles doesn't stop here. They can still acquire Bronny via the G League route, similar to what the Golden State Warriors did with Alen Smailagic — a Serbian prospect they drafted in 2019.

The G-League route

The blueprint for the Lakers to acquire Bronny from the G-League (if the latter decides to take his talents there) is similar to how the Warriors did with Smailagic: let him play for the organization's G-League affiliate team and claim his rights in the draft.

It sounds sketchy and risky but remember, Smailagic's camp made it known that he was unavailable to other teams during his predraft process. There's no doubt that Bronny will sign with Rich Paul's Klutch Sports, and knowing their power in the league, it's not impossible to think that Klutch Sports can do the same.

Over the past couple of seasons, the Lakers have found some rookie gems with their second-round picks (Talen Horton-Tucker) and undrafted (Austin Reaves) signings. So what will stop them this time from taking the same route to acquire Bronny, especially if it means keeping James in Los Angeles?

So yes, there's certainly a path for Bronny to get to the Lakers, and considering how happy the James family is in Los Angeles, there's a good chance that this could happen. Although at the end of the day, it will all depend on how Bronny's career path to the NBA turns out and if the Lakers are steadfast in acquiring him to make ends meet and manifest the first powerful father-son duo in the NBA. 

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