Knicks creak door open for polarizing second-round target with draft day trade

What will the Knicks do?
New York Knicks
New York Knicks / Michael Reaves/GettyImages

It's not easy being the most polarizing player in a polarizing draft class, but that's the title Bronny James holds. There were rumblings that he could be a first-round pick, but his name wasn't called on the first night of the two-night event. With the New York Knicks possessing two second-round picks, fans speculate that they could be the team to select the 19-year-old.

Bronny went into cardiac arrest before his first season at USC officially started, but thankfully, he was able to return to the court. He averaged 4.8 points, 2.8 rebounds, and 2.1 assists per game, shooting 36.6% from the field and 26.7% from three. He started in six of the 25 games he played. As you can see, those numbers aren't exactly draft-pick material.

The guard knows what it's like to be scrutinized, as it's not easy to live in LeBron James' shadow. Everything he does on the floor is compared to his father, one of the best basketball players ever. Even though it's understandable to compare the two, it's unfair.

Bronny will start his NBA career opposite LeBron, the No. 1 pick in 2003. He'll likely be a second-round pick, but if he isn't, a team will sign him as an undrafted free agent once the draft concludes.

Considering the Knicks will enter night two with an added draft pick after a trade on Wednesday, they could take a flier on Bronny.

Is Bronny James a player the Knicks should seriously consider drafting?

The Bronny discourse has been exhausting. Whichever team drafts him (if one does) will supposedly have a shot at LeBron, who has a $51.4 million player option for next season. Even though it's rumored he'll return to the Lakers (who just hired JJ Redick), there's always the chance he'll try to go where Bronny ends up.

Once upon a time, in 2010, New York wanted LeBron, but he chose Miami instead. Fourteen years later, the Knicks could draft his son to try to lure him to New York, but is there really a need for the front office to do that? No. For starters, the Knicks can't afford LeBron. He'd have to be willing to sign a vet minimum, which is a far shot.

New York has carefully assembled its roster with players who fit the culture, which is why the Mikal Bridges trade happened. As wild as this would've sounded 14 years ago, the Knicks don't need LeBron. Leon Rose has built a winning team without trading for a big-name star. However, if New York is interested in LeBron, drafting Bronny would help get him back to the East Coast.

Bronny won't be the player his father is, but he could be a solid depth piece down the road. Whoever the Knicks draft in the second round (if they keep at least one pick) won't jump into Tom Thibodeau's rotation. Drafting Bronny to get LeBron doesn't seem to be how New York rolls, but it won't be counted out until the second round concludes.

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