In what's considered to be a historically weak 2024 NBA Draft class, much of the conversation has understandably revolved around Bronny James, the son of Los Angeles Lakers forward and NBA legend LeBron James. You've likely heard voices on both sides of the prospect fence -- some insisting that he wouldn't even be on the draft radar were it not for his last name and others touting him as a high-upside, high-floor sleeper whom teams will regret passing up.

The truth, as it usually does, probably falls somewhere in the middle. The question of, "where does Bronny best fit?" is a difficult one, since the Occam's Razor answer is paradoxical: He fits both everywhere and nowhere simultaneously.

If presented with a 19-year-old, high-character, high-IQ, skilled power guard with significant defensive upside, which organization would pass that up? But then offer that same franchise a prospect who measured under 6-foot-2 at the NBA Draft Combine, averaged fewer than five points in 25 college games and will require significant development time despite turning 20 before his rookie season. Hmm, maybe not as quick to swipe right.

James hasn't displayed the playmaking or self-creation acumen to be a lead ball-handler at the NBA level, and he's a bit small to be an off guard or a wing (though his 6-7 wingspan helps immensely). His shooting form is impeccable, as you might expect given a lifetime of coaching and practice, but he shot just 27% in his only season at USC. So at this point, it's hard to envision a surefire NBA role for James outside of being a smart player who can contribute to winning in short bursts -- many players have made a great career out of doing just that. That being said, the potential is clearly tantalizing given all of the intangibles, the pedigree, and his considerable physical gifts.

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Bronny has compared his game to players like Jrue Holiday, Derrick White and Davion Mitchell, and his dad recently agreed with that assessment.

"These are guys who come in and, for a team that's trying to win championships, a team that wants to win every night, these are the players that you have to have on your team," LeBron said to JJ Redick on the "Mind the Game" podcast. "It doesn't always show up in the box scores, but it always shows up in the winning plays. For Bronny to have that perspective on where he stands today, you know, that's great."

Despite his polarizing nature as a prospect, there's almost universal accordance that James improved his stock significantly at last week's Combine. Our Bill Reiter came away confident in James' ability to handle whatever is thrown his way, even if his talent may not match up with the makeup .. not yet, at least. After the performance in Chicago, James went from outside the top 75 to No. 56 in our very own Kyle Boone's Prospect Rankings.

Still though, landing spots are difficult to gauge, because James needs an organization with the patience to let him grow -- not a bottoming-out team that needs him to play 30 minutes per night right away. But it also wouldn't benefit him to join a championship contender, where his path to minutes is virtually indiscernible. That leaves a sweet spot of teams in the middle -- usually the worst place for an NBA franchise to be -- and therefore there aren't many options, so we have to get a little creative.

Here's a look at the 10 best landing spots for Bronny James heading into the 2024 NBA Draft, but first let's address why his father's Los Angeles Lakers are not the right spot for him.

Why not the Lakers?

When considering the Lakers as a possible Bronny destination, remember to keep this quote in the back of your mind: "My dream has always just been to put my name out, make a name for myself." That's Bronny at the NBA Draft Combine, saying -- in so many words -- that he wants to get out of his father's shadow. You don't do that by playing with your father on one of the most prestigious franchises in sports history. LeBron has repeatedly expressed a desire to play on the same team as his son, but Bronny stated that he "never thought about" it. So, for his development, the Lakers seem like the exact opposite of where he needs to go to become his own NBA man.

And what about basketball? With LeBron set to turn 40 next season, the Lakers are as much in win-now mode as any team possibly could be, needing to revamp a roster that clearly wasn't good enough to compete with the Denver Nuggets in two straight postseasons. Bronny needs time to develop and play through mistakes, and that's clearly not something that the Lakers are going to be able to tolerate as long as the elder James is on the roster.

So, as cool as it would be for fans to watch and as great as it would be for Bronny to have his father by his side providing advice in his formative NBA years, the Lakers simply don't make sense as a destination.

Now, let's talk about some landing spots that make a lot more sense.

10. Milwaukee Bucks

Picks: 23, 33

This would be a future play for the Bucks, looking toward a post-Damian Lillard/Brook Lopez/Khris Middleton future where Giannis Antetokounmpo needs winning role players around him. James likely wouldn't crack the rotation for a Bucks team competing for a title next season, but they could get him into the system and hope that he eventually becomes a reliable 3-and-D guard next to the Greek Freak. Trading down from No. 33 would make sense if they think Bronny would be available later on.

9. Brooklyn Nets

  • Picks: None

The Nets don't have a pick in the 2024 draft, but trading into the second round is never a problem for a motivated team. They'd need to be infatuated with James, who makes a lot of sense as a future asset considering that Brooklyn has exactly two players under contract beyond the 2024-25 season, both of whom (Mikal Bridges and Cam Johnson) are consistently in trade rumors. Bronny seems more than ready to handle the bright lights of the New York stage, and with Ben Simmons always a question mark and Dennis Schroder a trade candidate on an expiring contract, it's conceivable that James could end up being a significant backcourt piece next season if Brooklyn drafts him.

8. Minnesota Timberwolves

  • Picks: 27, 37

James' stock would need to improve significantly for the Wolves to consider him at No. 37, but the second round of the draft is the Land of Trade-Downs, so it could make sense for Minnesota to pick up a future asset or two by sliding down to get James in the 50-range. The Wolves are one of the few true title contenders that makes sense for James, since they prioritize length (6-7 wingspan) and defensive versatility. Think about how impactful Nickeil Alexander-Walker was for Minnesota this season, and remember that his team-friendly $4.3 million contract expires after the 2024-25 season. With all the money owed to Anthony Edwards, Karl-Anthony Towns, Rudy Gobert and Jaden McDaniels, Wolves ownership -- whoever that may be -- might look to groom James as a cost-effective replacement for Alexander-Walker.

7. Dallas Mavericks

Picks: 58

In their run to the Western Conference finals (and possibly beyond), the Mavericks have established themselves as an elite defensive team -- once thought impossible with a backcourt of Luka Doncic and Kyrie Irving. Adding Bronny to that mix seems like a solid move, particularly if he's able to consistently knock down the wide-open 3s that the dynamic backcourt would serve up on a silver platter. James could even earn some minutes next season, since Dallas' rotation isn't exactly set in stone. The Mavs may need to trade up a few spots to get him, but Bronny could be a nice addition for a team that should compete for titles for the foreseeable future.

6. Toronto Raptors

Picks: 19, 31

The Raptors kicked off their rebuild in full last season with Scottie Barnes as the centerpiece, and James seems like a good fit with their young roster. Anyone who watched Raptors basketball in April knows that there are plenty of backcourt minutes available behind Immanuel Quickley, so James would have an opportunity to compete for a rotation spot right away. If he needs more time, which he probably will, Toronto can offer patience as a rebuilding team not necessarily looking for an immediate savior. The Raptors probably wouldn't use No. 31 on James, but trading down is always a realistic possibility in the second round.

5. Miami Heat

  • Picks: 15, 43

Jaime Jaquez Jr. shows the blueprint for how a prospect not necessarily considered "blue chip" heading into the NBA can be incredibly successful in the right situation. Bronny would be hoping for the same if he ends up in Miami, where basketball IQ, defense and winning basketball are valued above flashy skill sets. With Delon Wright and Patty Mills both unrestricted free agents this summer, Pat Riley and Miami could look to work their development magic on James if he's still available at No. 43. Erik Spoelstra might not be enthused about playing a 20-year-old major minutes, but the Heat's injury history suggests he might not have a choice.

4. Utah Jazz

  • Picks: 10, 29, 32

Utah perfectly fits the Bronny bill as a team that's competitive, but not too competitive for him to have a real shot at earning minutes. The organization handled 2023 first-round picks Taylor Hendricks and Brice Sensabaugh with kid gloves, so you could expect the same level of patience for James, who would likely see his fair share of time with the SLC Stars of the G League. With Kris Dunn, Talen Horton-Tucker and Kira Lewis potentially heading elsewhere this summer, backcourt minutes could be there for the taking on a team that would presumably like to take meaningful steps toward the playoffs.

3. Orlando Magic

  • Picks: 18, 47

One of the league's best stories in 2023-24, the Magic have already seen what a hard-nosed, defensive-minded guard can bring to the table with the emergence of Jalen Suggs. James doesn't quite have Suggs' size, but he could follow a similar path as a stopper who can flirt with 40% 3-point shooting. That last point will be key, as Orlando needs floor-spacers around Paolo Banchero and Franz Wagner, and there could be some rotation minutes available with Markelle Fultz and Gary Harris both entering free agency this summer. The Magic organization values length (remember that 6-7 wingspan!), defense and winning mentality, and Bronny seems to check all those boxes.

2. Memphis Grizzlies

  • Picks: 9, 39, 57

An organization known for its winning culture whose best players are all 25 or younger? Sounds like a solid Bronny fit. The Grizzlies have two second-round picks, either of which could be used to bring in James, who would able to learn from one of the league's best perimeter stoppers in former Defensive Player of the Year Marcus Smart. Memphis has a deep roster, but James would still have the opportunity to carve out minutes if he progressed ahead of schedule. Even if it takes time, James would enter a development program featuring such role-player success stories as Brandon Clarke, Vince Williams Jr., Santi Aldama and GG Jackson. "Grit N Grind" sounds like a slogan that could be stamped in permanent ink onto Bronny's forehead.

1. San Antonio Spurs

  • Picks: 4, 8, 35, 48

Bronny described himself as "a great coach's player," so joining forces with one of the greatest coaches of all time in any sport seems like a dream pairing. Over the last couple of seasons, Gregg Popovich's focus has gone from winning titles to honing young talent, and James could be the next in line. San Antonio makes sense on a number of levels beyond Pop, namely their selections (No. 48 seems like the sweet spot for taking James) and the fact that they already have a no-doubt, future-of-the-franchise superstar in Victor Wembanyama. Nobody remotely associated with the Spurs organization will have expectations of Bronny becoming his father and leading the franchise back to the mountaintop.

Instead, he can focus on what he does best -- playing defense, making winning plays and knocking down 3-pointers (he's expected to be a plus shooter despite his rocky percentages at USC). San Antonio should be much better next season, especially if they bring in some veterans this offseason, but most likely won't compete for a championship for at least another year, depending on Wembanyama's progression. That would allow the organization to be patient as they bring Bronny along, giving him stints in the G League as need be. All in all, the Spurs could be the perfect environment for James to thrive.