The NBA trade deadline is now just one day away. Front offices looking to make upgrades to their rosters for the stretch run are now battling the clock as well as the market. It's a key time for teams on the fringe of contending for a title.
There are a handful of teams, including the conference-leading Miami Heat and San Antonio Spurs, that can feel good about their chances. But there are just as many that are one move away from getting into the championship conversation.
With that in mind, let's examine three teams that fall into that category and should spend the next day attempting to find the missing piece. It should be an interesting dash to the deadline to say the least.
The Nets have a solid big three. Deron Williams, Joe Johnson and Brook Lopez are going to give Brooklyn a puncher's chance in any playoff series. But they need another wing scorer in order to provide a boost off the bench and take some pressure off the stars.
It's a role MarShon Brooks was supposed to fill after breaking out last season. He's struggled to find his shot, however, and is shooting just 23 percent from beyond the arc. The Nets are going to need more consistency than that in the postseason.
One name that could be of interest is J.J. Redick. The Orlando Magic are shopping the shooting guard, according to Royce Young of CBS Sports. He's the type of player the Nets should be searching for to provide a little extra scoring punch the rest of the season.
Which of these teams most needs to make a move?
Los Angeles Clippers
Los Angeles is right on the border of being a threat in the Western Conference. Right now, the aforementioned Spurs and Oklahoma City Thunder hold a slight edge overall, but one key move before the deadline could change that.
The biggest need for the Clippers is a veteran forward. While they have more than enough depth on the perimeter, led by the duo of Chris Paul and Jamal Crawford, Blake Griffin is being forced to carry too much of the load in the paint.
If the Clippers could find somebody to help him with the offensive load down low, they would be a lot more dangerous. They have been linked to Kevin Garnett, but Marc Stein of ESPN doesn't think he'll waive his no-trade clause. So Los Angeles will have to look elsewhere to fill the void.
Since the Grizzlies feature one of the league's top post duos in Zach Randolph and Marc Gasol, they are going to cause matchup problems in the playoffs. Trading Rudy Gay to the Toronto Raptors has left them without a go-to scorer, though.
They probably aren't going to find one of those on the midseason trade market. It's a hole that will need to get filled in the offseason. That said, they should still try to find another player to help pick up the scoring slack moving forward.
Somebody like Rip Hamilton, who Ken Berger of CBS Sports reports the Chicago Bulls would be willing to move if the price was right, is an intriguing option. Not only would he add some scoring depth, but a veteran presence as well. That's what Memphis needs.