End of Lakers’ season puts fresh focus on Bronny James and his decision

The Los Angeles Lakers were eliminated from the NBA playoffs on Monday night. They lost to the Denver Nuggets in Game 5 of their first-round series. LeBron James is running out of time in his NBA career. That career isn’t over, but LeBron doesn’t have an endless supply of seasons. What he and Bronny James — and the Lakers — will do is now a subject of great interest.

The decision facing Bronny James is a complicated one. Bronny very clearly needs another year of college basketball — or at least, developmental basketball (in the G League or overseas) before his game is NBA-ready. However, teams might draft him simply because they know that drafting Bronny means getting LeBron on their roster. Bronny might not need to increase his NBA draft stock because his value is tethered to his father more than anything else.

What also complicates Bronny’s decision is how long LeBron James plans to play. When seeing how well LeBron played against the defending NBA champion Nuggets, it’s clear that LeBron’s tank — while holding less fuel than in his physical prime — is far from empty. There is still a lot of good basketball in that body. If LeBron makes the decision to play three more years instead of only two (it doesn’t seem likely he will play just one more season, given how good he still is), that could give Bronny the freedom to play one more year of college basketball and develop himself for the NBA. Bronny and LeBron could then play two seasons together. If, however, LeBron intends to play only two more seasons instead of three, that might lead Bronny to enter the NBA this year and become part of a 2-for-1 deal with his father, probably with the Lakers.

Brian Windhorst joins The Pat McAfee Show to detail former USC Trojan hoops star Bronny James’ time at USC. Windhorst discusses where Bronny may transfer and if he will play alongside his dad in the NBA.

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Story originally appeared on Trojans Wire