Warriors can thwart key Lakers' strategy, make another play to lure LeBron to the Bay

Los Angeles Lakers v Golden State Warriors
Los Angeles Lakers v Golden State Warriors / Ezra Shaw/GettyImages

The Golden State Warriors and Los Angeles Lakers drew a plethora of headlines throughout this NBA season, and perhaps for little reason given both teams have now been eliminated from championship contention.

While the Warriors failed to make the playoffs entirely and have been on vacation for a couple of weeks, the Lakers met their fate at the hands of the Denver Nuggets and ultimately fell in a gentleman's sweep on Monday.

The Golden State Warriors could thwart a key Los Angeles Lakers strategy as the pacific rival attempts to retain LeBron James

All attention now turns to the offseason for the Lakers, starting with the future of superstar forward LeBron James who could become an unrestricted free agent if he opts out of his $51.4 million player option.

James has been vocal on his intention to play with son Bronny who has declared for this year's draft after one year of college at USC. In the wake of the Lakers' elimination, The Athletic reported that the franchise could be willing to draft Bronny to help fulfil the desire of their superstar.

As June's draft draws nearer, that particular strategy is likely to garner more speculation not only for the Lakers but for a number of rival teams who may think it possible to use Bronny as a chip to lure LeBron away from Los Angeles.

Unfortunately for the Lakers, they -- like the Warriors -- do not own their first-round pick which is owed to the New Orleans Pelicans. They also don't own their second-round pick which is headed to the San Antonio Spurs.

They do have a second-round pick from the LA Clippers that will land at 55th overall, three picks behind the Warriors whose only draft selection was acquired in February's trade of Cory Joseph to the Indiana Pacers.

Could Golden State swoop in and take Bronny James before the Lakers? It's certainly conceivable unless the Lakers trade for an earlier pick, or if 19-year-old chooses to return to college. Any rival team with an earlier pick could try to thwart the Lakers' strategy, but if there's one that's actually going to do it, it might be the Warriors.

The franchise attempted a secret push for James at February's deadline, having canvassed his management and the Lakers' interest in a potential trade. While that didn't pan out, it may not be the last time Golden State explores such a blockbuster deal.

Of course, landing James as a free agent would be far cheaper and more worthwhile than trading for the four-time MVP. It's hard to see the 39-year-old accepting a minimum contract with the Warriors, but if they draft Bronny then it may provide food for thought.