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Bronny James Is the Early 2024 NIL King

Among the nine projected 2024 NBA Draft picks who have the highest NIL valuations, Bronny James laps the field.

The non-stop nature of the NBA calendar conditions everyone remotely near the orbit of the league’s ecosystem to constantly ask “what’s next?”

It’s why the NBA has sports’ most exciting and intriguing offseason.

We’re just more than a week past the 2023 NBA Draft and the 2024 mock drafts already have us looking ahead. So far, there’s no clear-cut No. 1 in terms of on-court ability. But it doesn’t matter. This class will be all about Bronny James, LeBron James‘ son who will play college basketball at USC. LeBron has already said he wants to play with Bronny before his all-time great career ends, giving extra heft to every single mock draft between now and next June.

It should also come as no surprise that Bronny is the king of NIL, with an off-court value of $6.6 million based off brand, influence, and performance by college sports news source On3. The Sierra Canyon grad has 7.2 million Instagram followers and 5.5 million TikTok followers to maintain an absurd lead atop the NIL 100.

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Of the 59 players in ESPN’s latest 2024 NBA mock draft, nine of those projected picks hold spots in the NIL 100. The eight players not named Bronny have a combined NIL valuation of $4.871 million, barely approximating James’ current massive number, even before he steps on to a court as a collegiate athlete.

(Keep in mind these valuations are by no means exact. It is useful in comparing players’ overall reach, not necessarily how much money they’re actually worth)

PlayerProjected 2024 NBA Draft PickNIL 100 RankingNIL Valuation
Ron Holland183$557,000
Matas Buzelis276$579,000
Isaiah Collier480$571,000
Justin Edwards584$551,000
DJ Wagner777$576,000
Bronny James171$6.6 million
Aaron Bradshaw3299$515,000
Robert Dillingham3656$697,000
Zach Edey3934$825,000

You’d expect most of these numbers to rise as players begin their college careers. Holland and Buzelis will both play for G-League Ignite and have no shortage of access to national deals as they play against professionals. Collier will team with Bronny at USC, and NIL deals in the Los Angeles market should flow from there.

Edwards, Wagner, Bradshaw, and Dillingham headline a capital S Stacked Kentucky class that could rake in money in a basketball-crazed Commonwealth. John Calipari‘s UK squads haven’t reached a Final Four since 2015, and if boosters and local companies think this team can break that drought, NIL deals will follow. Edey is an interesting case as a 7-foot-4 upperclassman who had amazing regular season success as the National Player of the Year at Purdue but lost in the first round of the NCAA Tournament to a 16 seed.

While these players could see their NIL valuations rise in the coming months, Bronny James is dominating the field. At this rate, he will become the NIL-era GOAT before striding his way across the NBA Draft stage next June.

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