Bronny James medically cleared for combine, paving way for possible NBA draft entry

FILE - Southern California guard Bronny James dribbles the ball during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game against UCLA, Saturday, Jan. 27, 2024, in Los Angeles. Bronny James will enter the NBA draft after one season at Southern California that was shortened by his recovery from cardiac arrest. The 19-year-old son of LeBron James announced Friday, April 5, 2024, on his Instagram account that he also plans to retain his college eligibility and will enter the transfer portal.(AP Photo/Ryan Sun, File)
Bronny James, who played one season at USC, was medically cleared to participate in the NBA draft combine. (Ryan Sun / Associated Press)

Bronny James has been cleared by NBA doctors to participate in the league’s draft combine, sources not authorized to speak publicly about the matter confirmed to The Times.

He was on the court Monday for measurements and drills and is scheduled to participate in scrimmages later this week.

James, who played at USC last season, suffered sudden cardiac arrest before his freshman season, but his clearance by NBA doctors should again affirm his availability moving forward despite a congenital heart defect that required surgery.

A former McDonald’s All-American who starred at Sierra Canyon, James returned to play on Dec. 10 after suffering the heart issue during a workout on USC’s campus on July 24. He was eventually diagnosed with a congenital heart defect

In 25 games with USC, he averaged 4.8 points, 2.8 rebounds and 2.1 assists.

The Athletic reported James intended to stay in the draft.

Read more: Bronny James declares for NBA draft, enters transfer portal

Despite the modest statistics, James could be selected in the second round of the draft because some scouts like his defense and IQ.

His father, the Lakers' LeBron James, can become an unrestricted free agent. And while he spoke in the past about a desire to play with his son in the NBA, the four-time NBA champion has walked that back publicly, saying he wants his son to land in the best possible situation.

“That’s a young man who will decide what he wants to do and I ain’t going to say … where to go,” LeBron James said after the Lakers' final game. “I just think the fact that we are even having the conversation is pretty cool in the sense of that. But we’ll see what happens.”

The sense in Chicago is that LeBron James will ultimately stay with the Lakers, though he has given no hints to his future. The team is also expected to ramp up its coaching search, with JJ Redick, former head coaches Kenny Atkinson and James Borrego, and assistants David Adelman, Micah Nori and Sean Sweeney all considered to be in the mix.

On Monday at the NBA combine, Bronny James measured 6 foot 1 ½ inches with a plus-6 wingspan at 6-7.

Front offices personnel from around the NBA were at Wintrust Arena on Monday after the league hosted the G League Elite combine over the weekend.

James will play play 5-on-5 scrimmages on a team that includes UCLA big man Adem Bona and Connecticut's Alex Karaben.

Most projected first-round players won’t take part in scrimmages.

James’ status moving forward is one of the more intriguing storylines of the week in Chicago, with scouts eager to see if he can close the gap between expectations and his on-court production with USC.

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This story originally appeared in Los Angeles Times.