Report: Bronny James dealing with swelling in knee, will miss Sunday’s game vs. Warriors

Peter Dewey
3 Min Read
Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

Los Angeles Lakers rookie guard Bronny James will miss Sunday’s game in the California Classic due to swelling in his left knee.

James appeared in the Lakers’ Summer League opener on Saturday, but the team is holding him out of the second leg of a back-to-back for precautionary reasons.

The No. 55 overall pick in the 2024 NBA Draft, James shot 2-for-9 from the field in his debut on Saturday, finishing with four points, two rebounds, two assists and one steal in the Lakers’ 108-94 loss to the Sacramento Kings.

James failed to make any of his shots from beyond the arc (0-for-3), but he believes that with more reps, he’ll start to get them to fall.

“I was trying to get downhill as much as I could to open up the 2-ball, and the midrange, and the 3-ball,” James said after the loss. “Couldn’t get the 3-ball to fall, but with all the reps, it’s going to come more smooth.”

After playing one season at the University of Southern California, James declared for the draft and was promptly picked by the Lakers with their second-round selection to unite him with his father – LeBron James – who is the NBA’s all-time leading scorer.

“What he does in the California Classic and summer league, it doesn’t matter if he plays well and it doesn’t matter if he doesn’t play well,” the elder James said. “I just want him to continue to grow [from] practices, film sessions, his individual workouts. You can’t take anything stat-wise from the California Classic and summer league and bring it to once the season starts. So, the only thing that matters is him getting better and stacking days.”

During the 2023-24 season with the Trojans, the younger James showed some promise but also displayed plenty of room for improvement. He averaged 4.8 points, 2.8 rebounds and 2.1 assists per game while shooting 36.6 percent from the field and 26.7 percent from beyond the arc. He scored in double figures on three different occasions in his freshman season.

Summer League action should give the Lakers rookie a chance to adjust to the speed and talent of the NBA.

It makes sense that the Lakers don’t want to have him overexert himself during the second leg of a back-to-back since they signed him to a four-year, $7.9 million contract.

The Lakers will have some time off after Sunday’s game before they take on the Miami Heat in the California Classic on Wednesday. That should give the younger James’ knee ample time to heal for him to continue playing this summer.

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Peter is a graduate of Quinnipiac University where he covered the MAAC and college basketball for three years. He has worked for NBC Sports, the Connecticut Sun and the Meriden Record-Journal covering basketball and other major sports. Follow him on Twitter @peterdewey2.