Paul Pierce: LeBron James should consider being traded back to Cavs for Donovan Mitchell

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Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

LeBron James’ future may be somewhat in flux, and Paul Pierce said a return to the Cleveland Cavaliers might be a good way for the Los Angeles Lakers superstar to wrap up his NBA career.

“If [the Lakers] flame out and lose in the play-in, I would consider — if I was LeBron — being traded back to Cleveland for Donovan Mitchell,” said Pierce on an episode of “Undisputed.” “… Bronny gets picked up by [the Cavs], and Bron has his farewell world tour with his son.

According to Pierce’s idea, such a trade could be in conjunction with the Cavs somehow adding James’ son Bronny, who has declared for the 2024 NBA Draft following his freshman season at the University of Southern California.

The elder James has a player option on his contract for the 2024-25 season and reportedly may be looking for a new deal with the Lakers that includes a rare no-trade clause.

While Pierce is now concocting scenarios that involve the Lakers falling short of the playoffs, he recently also said that if the elder James can lead them to a championship he would have to be considered the “GOAT of all GOATs.”

The 39-year-old is about to complete his 21st NBA campaign and has admitted that he does not have much time left as a player. He has often mentioned his strong desire to play in the league at the same time as his son, either as a teammate or as an opponent.

Though the younger James has declared for this year’s draft, he does retain the option to play another collegiate season, so it is unknown when he actually would arrive in the NBA or if the Cavs would even be interested in him.

The franchise has more immediate concerns as it continues to try to navigate its future with respect to Mitchell. Though momentum seemed to be growing that the All-Star would choose to stay in Cleveland long term, reports continue to emerge that he will look to move on elsewhere, especially if the Cavs fail to make the 2024 NBA Finals.

The organization would then have to decide if they are willing to trade Mitchell or possibly see him leave as a free agent after next season. Getting the elder James back in a possible trade might make that decision a whole lot easier.

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Mike is a veteran journalist who has covered the NBA for almost three decades. One of his favorite sports memories is the Cavaliers-Nets playoff series from 1993.