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USC freshman Bronny James, the son of Los Angeles Lakers superstar LeBron James, will have a decision to make in the upcoming months about his status for the 2024 NBA Draft. The younger James could declare for the draft or return to USC for the 2024-25 season as the program makes its transition to the Big Ten. 

During NBA All-Star Weekend in Indianapolis, LeBron spoke publicly about Bronny's thought process ahead of his looming decision. 

"It's up to him," LeBron said on Bronny's draft status. "It's up to the kid. Obviously we gonna go through the whole process. He's still in season now, has the Pac-12 tournament coming up. ... We gonna weigh our options, and we gonna let the kid make the decision."

James is averaging 5.7 points, 2.9 rebounds and 2.6 assists in just over 20 minutes of action for the Trojans. He missed the first eight games of the 2023-24 season after going into cardiac arrest during a preseason workout in late July and was on a minutes restriction during the first month.

James logged 14 minutes during a 92-89 double-OT loss to Colorado last weekend — his fewest minutes since playing 14 minutes in the second game of his career against Auburn on Dec. 17. USC sits at 10-16 overall and 4-11 in Pac-12 play with less than a month to play in the regular season.

Will Bronny declare for the 2024 NBA Draft?

The 2024 NBA Draft class is a mystery because it's one of the weaker draft classes at the top in nearly a decade. That could ultimately benefit James and convince him to declare for the draft if a team wants to take a swing on a prospect with upside.

The other factor is LeBron's public desire to play with his son at the next level. The elder James has a player option for the 2024-25 NBA season that he could hypothetically decline, which could create an easier path for the two to pair up next season in the league.

"Either in the same uniform or a matchup against him," Lebron said last January in an interview with ESPN. "... But I would love to do the whole Ken Griffey Sr. and Jr. thing. That would be ideal for sure."

If he does indeed declare for the draft, his projections will be all over the place. A team could be more inclined to draft the former McDonald's All-American if they knew his father was coming with him. In CBS Sports' latest mock draft by Gary Parrish, James wasn't included in the first-round projection.

What if Bronny returns for his sophomore season?

If James elects to return to school this fall, it would be a massive boost for the program. James could help usher in a new era of Trojans basketball in their first season as a member of the Big Ten. He would also become a focal point on both ends of the floor and would become a candidate to start in his sophomore season. 

Boogie Ellis, Isaiah Collier and Kobe Johnson are all expected to declare for the NBA Draft this summer. That means if Bronny does return, he will be one of the more experienced players on the roster. The Trojans are bringing in four-star guard Trent Perry, three-star forward Brody Kozlowski and three-star guard Liam Campbell in their 2024 recruiting class to replace production they're likely to lose to the next level.

The NBA Draft remains the most likely option for James because it's hard not to envision him as a one-and-done prospect. His decision will loom large no matter what path he takes.