7 fringe contenders that need to make a deal

The March 25 NBA trade deadline can’t come soon enough for these title hopefuls that need to bolster their rosters.

As the first half of the 2020-21 NBA season winds down, front offices across the league need to conduct objective evaluations of their respective teams.

Are they good enough to win this year’s championship as currently constructed? If not, which weaknesses do they need to shore up ahead of the league’s March 25 trade deadline?

The teams toward the top of their conferences might decide they’re well-equipped for the playoffs as is and instead turn their attention to the buyout market. However, the title hopefuls further down the standings likely won’t have that luxury.

The addition of the play-in tournament could result in fewer sellers and more buyers, as teams chase the Nos. 9 and 10 seeds to give themselves a shot at a playoff berth. The few teams well outside of the postseason picture by March 25 could use that supply drought to their advantage, driving up the price on any players with whom they’re willing to part.

The following seven teams — presented in alphabetical order — may not have a choice but to engage in a bidding war to bolster their respective rosters ahead of the trade deadline.

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