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If not a star, Lakers aiming to at least find help at trade deadline

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While the Los Angeles Lakers wait for LeBron James to return from a groin injury, they apparently are working the phones. And according to one report, they are very much in search of a second star.

At the very least, it appears they would like to somehow, someway find some sort of help, as Bill Oram of The Athletic reported.

"At this point, sources have indicated there are two types of trades the Lakers will pursue: The trade that shores up the current roster and increases the Lakers’ chances of saving face and making the playoffs, or a blockbuster that lands the Lakers a second superstar that makes them a true threat in the Western Conference this season and beyond," Oram reported.

"The second is obviously the priority, even if it means parting with some combination of Brandon Ingram, Lonzo Ball and Kyle Kuzma. Ideally, the Lakers would be able to land a second star in free agency and keep the core intact. However, with Anthony Davis unlikely to become available by the deadline, that particular dilemma may be a moot point this season."

A recent report suggested the Lakers are at least receiving calls on Ingram, perhaps the most likely to be moved of the three aforementioned young guns. But the Lakers will be seeking a big return to include anyone from their nucleus in a deal.

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They have also been season-long rumors surrounding guard Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, whose contract expires at the end of the year.

Ingram is putting up averages of 16.4 points, 5.0 rebounds and 2.9 assists, though it's pretty evident some in the organization wonder how well he fits next to James.

There are, however, no questions about Kuzma, as the second-year forward is having another strong season -- as 19.1 points, 5.9 rebounds and 2.9 assists per game.

Meanwhile, Ball remains on the shelf with an ankle injury and expected to miss at least another month. He is averaging 9.9 points, 5.4 assists and 5.3 boards.

The NBA trade deadline is Feb. 7.