LeBron James wants Lakers to draft Bronny and hire J.J. Redick, according to Stephen A. Smith’s sources

Jesse Cinquini
4 Min Read
Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith asserted that LeBron James hopes that the Los Angeles Lakers will select his son Bronny in the 2024 NBA Draft as well as hire J.J. Redick to be the 29th head coach in the history of the storied franchise.

“Let me tell you what else I’ve been hearing,” Smith said. “LeBron James is trying to get the Los Angeles Lakers to draft Bronny James with (their) second-round pick. He’d also like for J.J. Redick to be his next head coach. I’m just telling you what I’ve heard.”

According to a report last month from The Athletic’s Shams Charania and Jovan Buha, the Lakers are incredibly bullish on Redick’s coaching potential and believe he shares some similarities with former Los Angeles head coach Pat Riley.

“Leaguewide, Redick — a former player and media analyst — has garnered buzz for the position,” Charania and Buha wrote. “The Lakers are infatuated with Redick’s potential, according to league sources, viewing him as a Pat Riley-like coaching prospect who could both help the franchise in the short term and lead it for years.”

Anthony Irwin of Lakers Daily also reported in May that Los Angeles has “zeroed in” on Redick to replace Darvin Ham, who served as the head coach of the Lakers for two seasons.

Moving on to the topic of the younger James, Smith theorized a few days ago that the prospect’s draft stock is being purposefully manipulated so that he can land with the Lakers and play alongside the elder James. For context, a recent evaluation from ESPN had the younger James ranked as the No. 54 overall prospect in the 2024 NBA Draft, and the Lakers own the No. 55 overall pick.

Prior to declaring for the 2024 NBA Draft, the younger James averaged 4.8 points per game on 36.6 percent shooting from the field and 26.7 percent shooting from 3-point range along with 2.8 rebounds, 2.1 assists and 0.8 steals per game in his lone collegiate season.

He didn’t star at the collegiate level by any means, but the youngster put together some performances where he showed off his two-way potential. For instance, he scored a season-high 15 points on 6-of-11 shooting from the floor and 2-of-6 shooting from deep in a loss to Oregon State University on Dec. 30 of last year.

Furthermore, the younger James totaled two steals in five of the 25 games he played in.

It remains to be seen if the younger James will be able to serve as a positive contributor at the NBA level or if Redick has what it takes to be a successful head coach, but if drafting the former and hiring the latter would appease the elder James, then the Lakers seemingly should consider making those moves.

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Jesse is a sports journalist with extensive experience covering the NBA. He has worked as a staff writer covering the Lakers’ dreaded rivals, the Boston Celtics, for SB Nation. He has also covered the New York Knicks for The Knicks Wall.