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Bronny James has been linked to his father's Los Angeles Lakers for years now. The elder LeBron James has made it known over the years that he would like to play with his son before the end of his legendary career, and throughout the mock draft process, Bronny has consistently landed at No. 55 overall, the second-round pick owned by the Lakers. Should James last until No. 55, it seems like a foregone conclusion at this point that he will be the choice for the purple and gold.

Of course, there's no guarantee that he gets passed on 54 times. In fact, Indiana Pacers head coach Rick Carlisle seems to believe he won't be. In an appearance on the Green Light with Chris Long show, Carlisle was asked if the Pacers would use either the No. 50 or 51 overall picks on James. 

"I'm gonna go out on a limb here and predict he goes quite a bit higher than that," Carlisle responded. He offered no more specifics than that, citing the hits his wallet has already taken this spring. "I'm not gonna say who, I don't want to get fined. I've been fined enough this year during the playoffs."

It's worth pointing out that the Pacers have another second-round pick at No. 36, but Carlisle offered no hints that Indiana is the team in question here. It's also possible that the Lakers, worried about some other team taking Bronny before No. 55, either select him in the first round at No. 17 or trade down from that slot and take him higher than No. 55. If the elder James has in any way suggested to the Lakers that landing his son is a condition of his signature on an extension this offseason (and to be clear, there is no reporting suggesting that is the case), they would likely do whatever it takes to land him.

Other teams may be planning to draft Bronny in an attempt to lure his father this offseason or down the line. Winners like the 76ers, Magic and Thunder all have the ability to create significant cap space this offseason to chase James with. Having his son in tow might help. There's also the under-discussed possibility that some team simply likes James' potential as a prospect and drafts him above No. 55 on his own merits, though the fact that he has reportedly limited workouts to the Lakers and Suns thus far won't help on that front.

Bronny was, at points in the draft process, considered a first-round prospect. His stock declined after he suffered a cardiac arrest event during a workout last offseason, and that potentially led to his uneven season at USC. In a class considered as weak as this one, it's also reasonable to assume that different teams have graded Bronny very differently. He might be a second-round prospect to some and a better one to others.

With a bit less than two weeks to go before the draft, neither member of the James family knows for certain where they will play next season. It might be together with the Lakers. Or, as Carlisle hints, some team might be willing to play spoiler on draft night.