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#pounditTuesday, May 21, 2024

Bronny James takes huge step toward launching NBA career

Bronny James in a red tank top

Jan 13, 2024; Boulder, Colorado, USA; USC Trojans guard Bronny James (6) warms up before the game against the Colorado Buffaloes at the CU Events Center. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

Bronny James’ NBA hopes took a major step forward Monday ahead of the NBA combine.

James has been medically cleared to play in the NBA by the league’s Fitness to Play panel, according to multiple reports. The decision comes nine months after James underwent a procedure to repair a congenital heart defect.

Shams Charania of The Athletic reported that, subsequently, James is expected to remain in the draft and not return to college.

James had a massive health scare last July, when he collapsed after suffering a cardiac arrest. Ultimately, James wound up playing for USC after receiving medical clearance, and the heart issue appears to be firmly behind him.

The likely decision to stay in the draft might come as a surprise to some teams, who had previously expected him to return to school. As a freshman, he did not make a major impact for the Trojans, averaging just 4.8 points, 2.8 rebounds and 2.1 assists in 19.4 minutes per game with USC.

The question now is if and where James will be drafted. All eyes will be on the Los Angeles Lakers, who might pair him with his father. LeBron, however, might not be as desperate to play with his son as was previously believed.

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