Grade the Trade: LeBron and Bronny come home to Cavaliers in shocking 3-team proposal

An NBA legend thinks that LeBron James should demand a trade home to play with Bronny on the Cleveland Cavaliers
Bronny James, Lebron James, Cleveland Cavaliers
Bronny James, Lebron James, Cleveland Cavaliers / Alex Bierens de Haan/GettyImages
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Laying out the details of a LeBron trade

For the sake of this exercise, we will assume that LeBron James takes Paul Pierce's advice and demands a trade out of Los Angeles. This scenario is obviously an unlikely one, but it's certainly not impossible; LeBron returned home to Cleveland once before when he determined his team could no longer contend, and he has been very outspoken about a desire to play with his son before he retires. Returning home to Cleveland is a very reasonable coda to his career.

At the same time, the Lakers aren't trading LeBron unless he specifically asks for it. Assuming that he does, what kind of a deal should the Lakers look to make? Given the sheer financial cost of matching salary with LeBron James, there is likely only one realistic trade construction that the Lakers might consider fair value and would work out legally, and that is a trade package built around Donovan Mitchell.

There is another piece to the puzzle, however, and that is the Bronny factor. LeBron's son is a polarizing draft prospect after a quiet freshman season at USC. Some draft analysts see his athleticism, defensive potential and pedigree and put a strong second-round grade on him; others would not place a Top-100 grade on him. Yet for this scenario to occur, the Cavaliers need a path to adding Bronny as well.

Using a first-round pick on him is a stretch, but the Cavaliers don't have a second-round pick. That means adding a third team into the deal to bring back a high second to enable them to draft Bronny and thus set up the LeBron homecoming.

Here is what that trade looks like altogether:

LeBron Bronny LAL CLE TOR trade

The Toronto Raptors can't decide if they want to rebuild or keep competing, but armed with the 31st pick they are an obvious trade candidate for the Cavaliers to target. Georges Niang is a solid stretch-4 who could pair nicely with Jakob Poeltl in Toronto's rotation, and the Raptors would also get off of the last season of Jalen McDaniels' contract and pick up a future second-round pick, a tidy bit of business.

For the Lakers, Donovan Mitchell is one massive consolation prize for losing LeBron James. He isn't quite the all-time GOAT that LeBron is, but trading a 39-year-old for a 27-year-old All-NBA performer is a strong move, and he can pair with Anthony Davis as the Lakers retool the roster around them. Caris LeVert makes the money work and gives the Lakers another solid contributor, either starting beside Mitchell or as the Sixth man.

Let's assume that all of these pieces fall into place. The Toronto Raptors are game, LeBron James made the trade request and the Los Angeles Lakers are content with a return of Mitchell and LeVert. Should the Cleveland Cavaliers make this trade?