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Lakers rumors: L.A. could dangle Brandon Ingram as trade chip for Anthony Davis, Bradley Beal, CJ McCollum

Brandon Ingram, Anthony Davis, CJ McCollum, Bradley Beal, Lakers

The Los Angeles Lakers could make use of third-year swingman Brandon Ingram as a pivotal trade chip in search of a star partner for LeBron James. The partnership consisting of Ingram and James has simply not worked out to the Lakers’ expectations, and it could force the team’s hand at trading their other second-overall pick for the likes of Bradley Beal, CJ McCollum or even better, Anthony Davis.

The Lakers traded their 2015 first-rounder D’Angelo Russell to the Brooklyn Nets for Brook Lopez, who they let walk away after one season, having already unloaded Timofey Mozgov’s contract. This time around, they could part with their 2016 second-overall selection for an even bigger fish, according to an NBA executive.

“I think they wait until the summer to look into a big move involving a player like Ingram,” an NBA agent told Eric Pincus of Bleacher Report. “That gives them more time to get the best deal.”

An NBA executive agreed, calling Ingram the “1-A in a package for a big-time player [after the season],” suggesting names like Bradley Beal of the Washington Wizards or CJ McCollum of the Portland Trail Blazers for Los Angeles. “[Josh] Hart or [Kyle] Kuzma would probably need to be the 1-B.”

The Lakers would have to give up the very core of their youth to get this done, but that is the price of acquiring big stars in a demanding market. Most expect Ingram to be gone one way or another, if he doesn’t shake out the sluggish start to this season, one that has been largely used as a bar-measurer to see who can fit alongside James.

“[Ingram] will probably be traded at some point, whether it’s for a second or third star,” another NBA front-office executive said.

Ingram has yet to reach the 25-point mark in a single game and is averaging 15.2 points a night through 20 games, often looking uncomfortable sharing the court with James.