With the 2013 NBA trade deadline quickly approaching, several teams that not so long ago figured to be simply observers have emerged as likely participants.
The conference playoff standings continue to take shape, and a potential deal could be the difference between a fleeting playoff stay and a lengthy one. With a number of attractive, available names starting to surface, organizations are gaining a stronger sense of what kind of help they need and where they can turn to address those areas.
As history has shown, the speculation leading up to the deadline is often far more entertaining than the day itself. But that doesn't preclude a flurry of activity from taking place between now and Feb. 21.
Some teams on this list never figured to be in this position. Others are simply counting their blessings that they're standing where they are.
But all of them are trending in the wrong direction. And all of them are a phone call away from reversing their fortunes.