The speculation for where LeBron James will play next season hasn't quite heated up. It's nothing like previous years when he was months away from free agency. Paul Pierce, though, may have started that conversation on Friday.
And Pierce, in fact, has a team in mind for James to leave the Cavaliers to join. Pierce says James should head to Washington.
"There's one Eastern Conference team where I think he is the best fit and that's the Washington Wizards. Right here," he said on ESPN's 'The Jump' Friday afternoon.
Pierce, who played with the Wizards in the 2013-14 season, gave a lengthy explanation for why.
"If it's not Cleveland, it will be difficult seeing him go out West because the West is so tough. The road to the Finals is not easy," he said. "You have a young backcourt still where LeBron doesn't have to carry the load every night. You have a young small forward in Otto Porter. You can play LeBron at the four. Can you imagine John Wall, Bradley Beal, LeBron James, Otto Porter with [Marcin] Gortat? They would definitely win the East. It has experience, it has youth, it has everything you want. So, who knows?"
That is quite the idea and it's hard to argue that the Wizards would be very, very good. Right now they are hoping to knock off LeBron and the Cavs, but what if LeBron wants to join them? That would be hard to pass up.
If it were to actually happen, James would have to either leave the Cavs in free agency or agree to a sign-and-trade. In that scenario, it wouldn't be surprising if Porter or Gortat were involved. But the Wizards have several attractive trade pieces including Markieff Morris and Kelly Oubre, Jr.
Add it all up and it makes a lot of sense, especially considering Pierce's point about the Western Conference. If LeBron goes West, he will battle the Warriors, Thunder and Spurs every year just to make it to the conference finals. The East remains a more realistic path.
Watch LeBron's full comments here. It's at the end of the video:
And for more Pierce on the Wizards, listen to our 1-on-1 interview with him on the Wizards Tipoff podcast: