Lakers Rumors: Rutgers ‘Making Unexpected Push’ To Recruit Bronny James
Bronny James, LeBron James
(Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

As LeBron James is about to become eligible for a contract extension with the Los Angeles Lakers, his son — Bronny — is starting to mull over the next step in his own career, with the 17-year-old nearing high school graduation next summer.

Earlier this year, James confirmed Bronny’s future will likely have a direct impact on where he’ll play in a couple of years. During the All-Star break, the four-time NBA champion said he’ll do whatever it takes to team up with his oldest son during his last season in the league.

“Wherever Bronny is at, that’s where I’ll be,” James said.

Bronny will graduate from Sierra Canyon next year and become draft eligible in 2024. Therefore, the James family will soon have to decide whether the 6-foot-3 guard should go to college or try to get into the NBA through the G League, the Overtime Elite league, or follow in the footsteps of Charlotte Hornets star LaMelo Ball and turn pro overseas.

If Bronny ends up taking the conventional route, New York Times writers Billy Witz and Adam Zagoria claim his school choice might come as a surprise — with Rutgers reportedly trying to woo James’ son:

“One school making an unexpected push to recruit James is Rutgers, a basketball striver,” Witz and Zagoria wrote. “As far-fetched as it might seem, Rutgers is hoping Coach Steve Pikiell’s strong record of development — turning lightly regarded recruits such as Geo Baker, Ron Harper Jr., and Myles Johnson into decorated Big Ten players — carries some appeal to James.”

Rutgers is hardly known for its basketball program. The Scarlet Knights have never won the NCAA Tournament and featured in the Final Four only once. However, in 2021, the New Jersey-based college made the postseason for the first time in 20 years.

Dallas Mavericks forward Eugene Omoruyi was the only Rutgers alum to play in the NBA last season, making four 2021-22 appearances.

Although Bronny is considered a four-star prospect by 247Sports, he likely won’t be among the most sought-after players in the country next year — largely because he doesn’t possess the same elite athleticism his father does.

James ‘extremely happy’ in L.A. despite recent team struggles

Recent reports claim James is happy in L.A. despite the Lakers’ struggles over the last two seasons.

On Aug. 4, the 37-year-old will be able to sign a two-year, $97 million extension with the Purple and Gold — although he doesn’t seem in a rush to put pen to paper.

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