Grade the trade: Lakers send LeBron home with Bronny after falling short in wild pitch

Paul Pierce suggests LeBron James force a trade to Cavaliers to play with Bronny if Lakers lose play-in
LeBron James, Los Angeles Lakers
LeBron James, Los Angeles Lakers / Patrick Smith/GettyImages
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The Los Angeles Lakers have a lot riding on the next few days.

They need to be at their best in a winner-take-all setting in the Play-In Tournament. Advance and they get a full seven-game series in the first round of the playoffs to try and replicate last season's run. Lose, and the dominos begin to fall. Will the Lakers go all-in this summer to reload around LeBron James and Anthony Davis one last time? Will LeBron use the threat of his player option to leverage a new lucrative extension?

One other possible outcome has been introduced by an NBA legend and former champion.

Paul Pierce suggests LeBron James forces a trade if the Lakers lose

Paul Pierce was nicknamed "The Truth" for his on-court play during his career, but now in his media half-life, he wields that like an iron club, wading into NBA topics and giving his unfettered opinions. Yet he also knows a lot of players and people in the NBA, so whenever he says something it has to be taken with both a grain of salt and a moment's pause of consideration.

In discussing the options before Bronny James, LeBron's oldest son who just completed his freshman season at USC and is currently weighing his options between transferring to another college or declaring for the 2024 NBA Draft, Pierce turned the conversation to LeBron and the Lakers. If the Lakers lose in the playoffs, Pierce said, he thinks that LeBron should ask for a trade to Cleveland to play with his son, Bronny.

Here is the audio of Pierce's bold suggestion:

We are, of course, assuming this doesn't mean that Bronny is transferring to Akron University and Pierce simply means "play near" his son, which LeBron did this season when Bronny was at the University of Southern California. Pierce means that the Lakers should trade LeBron to the Cavaliers and that Cleveland should also draft Bronny James, pairing the two together in LeBron's hometown.

While Pierce's idea seems outlandish, it may also be more than the musings of a retired star. There is a path to such a deal happening, and LeBron certainly wields a lot of influence if he were to decide to force a trade.

Let's look at what would need to happen for such a trade to occur, then build the actual trade to see which players would pass between the two teams. Finally, would the Lakers even consider such a bold move? Let's grade the trade for Los Angeles in this turbulent potential future.