2024 NBA Draft Odds: Lakers Favored to Select Bronny James, But Don't Overlook Suns

Bronny James may not be the top player in the 2024 NBA Draft, but he is the one attracting the most buzz. We dissect the latest odds and examine where LeBron's eldest son may end up next.

Douglas Farmer - Betting Analyst at Covers
Douglas Farmer • Betting Analyst
Jun 25, 2024 • 15:37 ET • 4 min read
Bronny James NBA Draft
Photo By - USA TODAY Sports

More than a quarter of the wagers at BetMGM on who will be selected first in the 2024 NBA Draft may as well be lost bets already. 

That's because those tickets have Bronny James being the first name called by NBA commissioner Adam Silver, despite NBA Draft odds listing him at +25,000.

Most bet players to be drafted first overall

Player Percentage of bets at BetMGM
Bronny James 25.2%
Donovan Clingan 23.3%
Zaccharie Risacher 16.3%
Alexandre Sarr 11%
Stephon Castle 7.6%
Reed Sheppard 5.9%
Zach Edey 5.3%

Data as of 6-25-2024.

Let’s be clear: James will not be the No. 1 overall pick in the 2024 NBA draft. Bronny James NBA Draft odds suggest he will not go in the Top 5, listed at +15,000 at DraftKings. He will also not go in the Top 10, listed at +10,000 at FanDuel. Bronny probably will not even hear his name in the first round, listed at +200 at DraftKings and +500 at FanDuel.

But Bronny James will most likely be drafted, and come Thursday’s second round, picks can move so easily that it may feel like anybody could snag him. His Over/Under is set at 47.5 at FanDuel, heavily juiced to the Over at -158, while DraftKings has it set at 49.5, still juicing that Over at -150.

Through Rich Paul, LeBron James has tried to influence who will pursue his son. As of a week ago, only five teams were legitimately tied to this possibility. Let's examine the case for each franchise below.

Odds to select Bronny James in the 2024 NBA Draft

Team DraftKings FanDuel
Lakers Los Angeles Lakers -120 -120
Suns Phoenix Suns +700 +650
Raptors Toronto Raptors +1,000 +750
Timberwolves Minnesota Timberwolves +1,000 +750
Mavericks Dallas Mavericks +1,000 +750

Odds as of 6-25-2024.

Where will Bronny James end up?

Los Angeles Lakers

First, let’s discuss LeBron. He could opt out before Saturday, but a $51.4 million player option awaits him. LeBron averaged 25.7 points, 7.3 rebounds, and 8.3 assists last season while shooting 54% from the field and 41% from deep. He may botch roster construction through his Klutch dealings, but LeBron is still very much a Top 20 player in the NBA. His career may have a few more years in it.

Does he want a few more years? Or is there a chance LeBron should maximize his immediate earnings? If the latter, that $51.4 million option would make a bounty of sense.

Perhaps the Los Angeles Lakers snag Bronny to assure LeBron’s opt-in, hence being listed at -120 at both DraftKings and FanDuel. The Lakers have the 55th pick, but they could move up if anyone feints to pick Bronny. Indiana should be noted, holding both the 49th and 50th picks. A future second-rounder along with the 55th pick would probably be enough to propel the Lakers into one of those spots.

Phoenix Suns

All odds position the Phoenix Suns as the next most likely destination for Bronny, at +650 at FanDuel and +700 at DraftKings. Phoenix could not gel this past season, getting swept in the first round despite being a trendy title pick most of the season.

The thoughts that Kevin Durant may force his way out of Arizona embolden the speculation that LeBron could chase his last title in Durant’s place. They both play the 4 more often than not these days. It would effectively be a like-for-like swap for Phoenix.

But the Suns do not have a second-round pick, forfeiting it due to tampering with Drew Eubanks last offseason. Phoenix does have the No. 22 pick, but taking Bronny that high would be terrible value.

Toronto Raptors

Would the Raptors burn the No. 31 pick on Bronny to start Thursday night? It would be an aggressive move, one priced at +1,000 at DraftKings.

More likely, the long wait between the end of Wednesday night and the No. 31 pick to start Thursday night could give Toronto some strength in trade negotiations, finding another team with a desperately-sought target to start the second round.

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Minnesota Timberwolves

There is little-to-no thought of LeBron bringing even more size to the Minnesota Timberwolves. They certainly have no salary space as they barrel toward the second apron.

But teams worrying about their luxury tax payments and second-apron restrictions for the next few years are the exact kinds of teams that may see value in Bronny. He is not ready to contribute on a contender in 2024-25, but there is still plenty of development ahead for the 6-foot-1 guard with a 6-foot-3 wingspan and the best genetic draw ever seen.

Teams like the Timberwolves may look at Bronny as a longshot hope of being a bench contributor in a couple years, when they have few other paths to adding contributors. Thus, there may be genuine value in betting on Minnesota to draft Bronny.

Using the 37th pick on Bronny may be aggressive, but it would be on a long-term lottery ticket.

Dallas Mavericks

The Dallas Mavericks may have better odds of grabbing Bronny than the Timberwolves do, but they have only the No. 58 pick this week.

The Mavs have just one second-round pick in the next three years. They do not have a smooth way to move up on Thursday night.

Bronny James NBA Draft prediction: Los Angeles Lakers (-120 at DraftKings and FanDuel)  

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