NBA Trade Deadline 2013: Teams That Absolutely Need to Make a Deal

Alex Ballentine@Ballentine_AlexFeatured ColumnistFebruary 16, 2013

BOSTON, MA - FEBRUARY 7: Kobe Bryant #24 and Dwight Howard #12 of the Los Angeles Lakers look on following a foul against the Boston Celtics during the game on February 7, 2013 at TD Garden in Boston, Massachusetts. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)
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The NBA trade deadline is just days away (Feb. 21), which means that it's time for teams to decide what to do to further contend for the playoffs.

The deadline usually means more talking than dealing, but that's not always the case. Some teams decide to shake things up and actually pull the trigger on some sizable deals.

Looking at the All-Star break standings, a few teams really jump off the page as organizations that are in desperate need of a shakeup. Whether they are just a piece away from making a big leap as a team or in need of blowing things up to prepare for the future, these teams need to be active in making a deal or two before the deadline passes.

Los Angeles Lakers

Were you expecting someone else?

Trade rumors and speculation surrounding the Lakers have been beat to death, but where there's smoke there's fire—the Lakers are in desperate need of new personnel.

When the team added Steve Nash and Dwight Howard to the mix in the offseason, no one thought they would be below .500 at this point in the season. The harsh reality is that they are, and patience only goes so far in getting this group to come together.

The Lakers have a ton of talent. It's one of the most talented rosters in the league. The problem is that the players don't fit well with each other, nor do they fit in coach Mike D'Antoni's system.

Speculation has surrounded Pau Gasol for much of the season, but with the Spanish center missing six-to-eight weeks with an injury, it's not likely he will be traded.

The obvious answer for the Lakers is to trade away Howard. The star center isn't guaranteed to stick around after this season anyway and his value remains extremely high.

Trading away Howard would be an admission coming to Los Angeles was a mistake from the beginning, but it appears to be the only way for Kobe and Co. to salvage this season.

Utah Jazz

The Utah Jazz are in the perfect position to pull off a beneficial deadline deal.

They are putting together a solid season thus far. After a playoff appearance in 2012, they are currently the No. 7 seed in the Western Conference at 30-24.

While this is a good season for a young team like the Jazz, there's room for improvement. The Jazz have a ton of depth in the front court. Al Jefferson, Derrick Favors, Paul Millsap and Marvin Williams are all capable post players.

According to NBC Sports, the Jazz are likely to part with either Jefferson or Millsap, who would have much more value to another team than they do with the Jazz.

If they can turn Millsap into a formidable scorer on the wing, the Jazz will be a team to watch in the playoffs.

Brooklyn Nets

The Miami Heat have established themselves as the best team in the Eastern Conference, but the power rankings get muddled after that.

The Brooklyn Nets are right in the thick of things as one of the top teams in the conference, but will likely fall short of that goal without making a move at the deadline. 

Brook Lopez has emerged as one of the top centers in the NBA, and that's been a big reason behind Brooklyn's surge to the top this season. It's also made rebounding specialist Kris Humphries expendable.

If the Nets are able to swing a deal for a three-point shooting swingman (like say, Ben Gordon as Chris Broussard reports is a possibility) then they would be more apt to beat the likes of New York and Indiana down the stretch.