Lakers NBA draft needs: Bronny James isn’t only one who can help

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USC guard Bronny James stands for the national anthem before a game against Long Beach State on Dec. 10.

(Jason Armond / Los Angeles Times)

The team has invested most heavily in past drafts in the backcourt, using a first-round pick on Jalen Hood-Schifino last season and a second on shooting guard/small forward Max Christie the year before. Austin Reaves has been the biggest developmental victory, and he’s a guard too.

While the team has generally taken a “best available” approach, especially when picking at No. 17.

Devin Carter, the Providence guard, has seen his stock rise in the pre-draft process and probably has played himself into the lottery. Two other high-profile players that could be there at No. 17 are USC guard Isaiah Collier and Duke guard Jared McCain. McCain’s shooting could get him drafted sooner, and Collier’s physicality getting to the rim has him under lottery consideration as well.

In the second round, there’s one guard worth monitoring above all others — Bronny James.

James worked out for the Lakers on Thursday, according to people with knowledge of the situation not authorized to speak publicly.

James’ athleticism, defensive potential and shooting at the Chicago draft combine have certainly interested the Lakers, who could help make history by pairing him with his father, LeBron James, should he return to the team in free agency this summer (if he opts out, as expected).

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