Paul Pierce Says Cavs Should Try To Trade Donovan Mitchell For LeBron James

The Cleveland Cavaliers should attempt to trade Donovan Mitchell to the Los Angeles Lakers for LeBron James this summer if Mitchell doesn’t agree to a contract extension, former NBA forward Paul Pierce said on Fox Sports.Donovan Mitchell, Cleveland Cavaliers, LeBron James, Los Angeles Lakers, NBA

“If (the Lakers) flame out & lose in the play-in, I would consider — if I was LeBron — being traded back to Cleveland for Donovan Mitchell,” Pierce said, via Undisputed. “(Bronny James) gets picked up by (the Cavs) and Bron has his farewell world tour with his son.”

James, 39, is likely to opt out of his contract with the Lakers but remain with the franchise, per NBA insider Brian Windhorst of ESPN.

“I think LeBron’s gonna opt out no matter what,” Windhorst said on his podcast. “And the reason I think he’s gonna opt out no matter what is even if he just signs back for one year, the only functional way for LeBron to get a no-trade clause is to sign a new contract. If he extends the contract he’s in or picks up that option, extends onto it, he can’t get a no-trade clause. And I think for a number of different reasons, LeBron would likely ask for and probably be granted a no-trade clause.”

Meanwhile, a recent report suggested that Mitchell will decline a contract extension after the season and seek a trade.

For the record, that is the opposite of what sources have told Hoops Wire. They say they believe Mitchell will sign a shorter extension with the Cavs and commit to Cleveland for the next several seasons.

Mitchell can sign an extension for up to four years and about $200 million this summer. The 27-year-old has a player option worth $37 million for the 2025-26 season. He can become an unrestricted free agent in the summer of 2025 if he declines that player option. 

Mitchell recently told NBA reporters he would “handle” his future with the Cavaliers when the time is appropriate. 

“I think the biggest thing for me, as I said before to you earlier, I mean obviously you have to ask the question, but my focus is I got a lot of things to focus on outside of that right now,” Mitchell said, via The Athletic. “I’ve got to focus on myself, getting back for this group, focus on us getting over this stretch, continuing to be ready when it comes time.

“So, I’ll handle that when it comes, and I understand you gotta ask that question and I’ll give you the same answer.”

The Lakers, Miami Heat, New York Knicks and Brooklyn Nets have been linked to Mitchell, who doesn’t have a no-trade clause in his contract. 

Mitchell is averaging 26.8 points, 5.1 rebounds and 6.0 assists this season while shooting 46.3% from the floor, 36.8% from beyond the arc and 86.8% from the free-throw line.

James is averaging 25.4 points, 7.2 rebounds and 8.2 assists this season while shooting 53.6% from the field, 41.3% from beyond the arc and 74.6% from the free-throw line.

A 20-time All-Star, he has career averages of 27.1 points, 7.5 rebounds, 7.4 assists, 1.5 steals and 0.7 blocks with the Cavs, Heat and Lakers. He’s first in NBA history in points, second in field goals, fourth in assists, ninth in steals, fifth in triple-doubles, seventh in points per game, third in player efficiency rating and eighth in 3-point field goals. 

James is the only player in NBA history to rank top five all-time in both points and assists. He’s also the only player to have at least 30,000 points, 10,000 rebounds and 10,000 career assists. 

Ashish Mathur contributed to this report.

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  1. He is close to right. They should trade Darius Garland if that would convince D Mitch would stay. LBJ would be a better running mate at 39 for Mitch than DG. However, the Lakers would have to add another asset somehow (3-way trade maybe)? LBJ settles the team down, improves the front court immensely and adds a PROVEN big game player. That takes pressure off Donovan and all of our soft others who could have a tough vet to lean on.

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