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What did Bronny James show at the NBA Draft Combine?



Bronny James is expected to stay in the NBA Draft, league sources said Monday. And the son of NBA star LeBron James put forth a good showing on the first day of the draft combine in Chicago.

James reportedly knocked down 19 of 25 3-pointers during a shooting drill and recorded a 40 1/2-inch vertical leap. He also measured in at 6-foot-1 1/2, much smaller than the 6-foot-4 height USC listed him at when he played for the Trojans last season.

Our biggest takeaways from the day:

Do Bronny’s measurements at the combine matter?

We finally got confirmation on how big James is exactly. He measured at 6-foot-1 1/2 without shoes, with a 6-7 1/4 wingspan and an 8-2 1/2 standing reach.

It’s important to remember that colleges list players’ heights in shoes. While the Trojans added an extra inch to Bronny’s height, they didn’t drastically oversell it. On top of that, NBA teams were working under the assumption that James was in the ballpark of 6-2 anyway.

James’ standing reach puts him much more in the ballpark of point guard as opposed to that of a combo or shooting guard. Past players to post an 8-2 1/2 standing reach at the combine include Bruce Brown, Collin Sexton, Terry Rozier and Avery Bradley. James is a bit stronger and stouter than most of those players.

How much does his shooting drill showing help him?

James’ success during a shooting drill Monday does serve as a reminder for evaluators that James has the potential to shoot the ball despite his percentages. Having said that, as I wrote a month ago, “he showed much more shooting potential as a high-school player than he did in college. There is nothing inherently wrong with his mechanics. Perhaps he was out of rhythm after not being cleared to play during the offseason.”

NBA teams have not gone into this process believing that James is unable to shoot the basketball. That’s the part of his offensive game they actually have the most confidence in translating to the pros. Additionally, these shots are just a drop in the bucket. Any of the hundreds of scouts and executives who were at Nike Hoop Summit last year saw James shoot a sample that was many more than the number he took at the combine. And of course, the shots he took at game speed this past season are still the ones that matter most. While this might have shifted a couple of minds, I don’t know that it moved the needle all that much.

What about his vertical leap?

It’s nice to confirm what people already thought, but again, evaluators were working under the assumption that James would test exceedingly well athletically. This one probably did not move the needle much for James positively, but confirming pre-conceived notions is valuable.

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(Photo: David Becker / Getty Images)

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