Bronny James medically cleared to play in NBA, expected to remain in draft

James declared for the NBA Draft in April, but maintained his NCAA eligibility and entered the transfer portal

USC's Bronny James has been medically cleared to play in the NBA by the league's Fitness to Play Panel, according to ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski and Jonathan Givony.

James collapsed and experienced cardiac arrest during a workout with USC last July. He was hospitalized and in the ICU before he was released three days later. He was diagnosed with a congenital heart defect, and later underwent surgery.

After being cleared to return to basketball, James rejoined the USC lineup in December. Following the NCAA season, he entered the transfer portal and declared for the NBA draft while maintaining his college eligibility.

According to ESPN, James' approval by the panel will allow him to fully participate in this week's combine. James, the eldest son of NBA star LeBron James, is expected to participate in 5-on-5 scrimmages beginning on Tuesday.

Bronny, 19, played 23 games for USC during his freshman season and averaged 4.8 points, 2.8 rebounds and 2.3 assists per game. He joined the Trojans as a four-star recruit and the No. 27 overall prospect in the Class of 2023, as ranked by Rivals.

“He’s a very smart player and has a solid feel for the game,” one NBA scout told Yahoo Sports's Krysten Peek in March. “He needs more time to develop, but the fundamental mechanics are there.”

There is a May 29 deadline for James to decide if he will remain in the NBA draft or return to NCAA ball. The Athletic's Shams Charania reports that it's expected James will stay in the draft, which will take place June 26-27 in Brooklyn, N.Y.

LeBron James said in the past he wants to play with his son before he retires. The Los Angeles Lakers hold the 55th overall pick and the thought is that the team could be interested in drafting Bronny James in hopes of his father re-signing there for a seventh season.

But if a different team drafts Bronny, that will lead to some interesting speculation in the days leading into the opening of the NBA free agent market.