Raptors executive comments on Toronto’s interest in Bronny James

The Toronto Raptors have pursued Bronny James.

It’s no secret. Frankly, it would be surprising if they hadn’t.

James has been on the basketball radar since he was born in 2004 as the eldest son of LeBron James. This would have been news if no one had seen Bronny James by now.

But somehow, Toronto has been linked to James, creating a circus around the 6-foot-1 guard. ESPNJames’ agent, Rich Paul, said Raptors president Masai Ujiri “loves” James and may select him with the No. 31 pick.

This was a shocking comment because agents basically never reveal this kind of information publicly. And yet, Paul named Toronto, the Minnesota Timberwolves, the Dallas Mavericks, the Los Angeles Lakers, and the Phoenix Suns as teams he said were interested in James.

So how much interest is there in Toronto for this?

“These are all players we’re keeping an eye on,” Raptors assistant general manager Dan Tolzman said Tuesday. “I mean, he’s in the mix.

“If I told you anything more strongly than anybody else, that would be unfair to us. I will say that we’ve been taking a long, hard look at every player on the board and I wouldn’t say we’ve ruled anybody out with any of our selections. That’s all I’ll say.”

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Toronto is considering James and all other players eligible to be drafted this weekend. That includes the 58 players who will be selected and several others who will be available as undrafted free agent signings after the draft.

James didn’t work out for the Raptors because Paul opted to limit the former USC freshman’s workouts to just the Lakers and Suns. For Toronto, it doesn’t really matter much, Tolzman said. The organization won’t be limited to only selecting players it has worked with. Sure, it would be nice to have every player come to workouts, but the Raptors won’t be up against James.

James isn’t expected to be selected in the first round and is certainly not someone the Raptors would consider at No. 19. At No. 31, it’s possible Toronto wants to take a chance on James, but there’s a chance the Raptors opt to go in a different direction with that pick.

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