The Los Angeles Lakers entered this season as the team to beat in the NBA. They had an already impressive core featuring LeBron James and Anthony Davis and were coming off winning the ring.

Rob Pelinka and the front office did an outstanding job of reinforcing their squad but now that Davis has been forced to miss most of the season with an injury, and considering how other teams have fared, they're likely to make some moves ahead of the trade deadline.

As always, multiple players have been tied to the Lakers in recent days. Then again, they're not willing to part ways with most of their players and don't have many draft assets to trade away right now.

That means that they're more likely to land players via buy-out than via trade. So, now that we know that they're looking for a big man and another scoring threat, let's take a look at the players that could join them in the next couple of days.

Long Shots: JJ Redick, Andre Drummond, LaMarcus Aldridge, Victor Oladipo, Wayne Ellington

These players are reportedly all on the Los Angeles Lakers' radar but their asking price could drive them away from the team. Also, the fact that they'll face multiple competition for their services makes them unlikely to wear the purple and gold.

The Players That Could Actually Join The Lakers

3. Hassan Whiteside

Hassan Whiteside. (Getty)

Hassan Whiteside has been in and out of Luke Walton's rotation with the Sacramento Kings. It's clear that he's not a priority for the team and that they'd be better off buying him out to allow him to sign with a contender.

Whiteside's drive has raised some question marks above him but there's no denying his ability to dominate both sides of the glass and block shots. He could be huge for the Lakers in limited minutes.

2. Isaiah Thomas

Isaiah Thomas. (Getty)

Isaiah Thomas has been out of the league for some time now but he's finally healthy and back to full strength. He's never hidden his desire to make a comeback and he was quite impressive with Team USA a couple of weeks ago.

Thomas was good in his brief stint with the Lakers and he's known for his instant offensive spark. The Lakers could use a scoring punch off the bench and he could come in at a bargain price for them.

1. DeMarcus Cousins

DeMarcus Cousins. (Getty)

DeMarcus Cousins signed with the Lakers last season and developed a strong rapport with the team. In fact, they let him use their facilities to rehab even after waiving him, and he was tied with a comeback earlier in the year.

Cousins is currently a free agent and it's clear that he wants to play big minutes for a winning team. The Lakers have an opening at the center spot and he'd be a big upgrade over this version of Marc Gasol.