With the NBA trade waters approaching high tide, now is hardly the time for flattering mirrors or yes-men staffs.
Brutally honest self-assessments need to be made for teams to determine if they should be buying, selling or simply standing pat.
Given the glowing reviews of the 2014 draft class, those valuations will be more harshly graded this season. The Tankapolypse may have been a non-story early on, but that plot line will thicken as more teams turn their attention beyond the 2013-14 campaign.
Six bottom-feeders have a winning percentage between .306 and .333. Once some of these hangers-on realize how close they are to a potential franchise centerpiece, the trade market will be littered with ready and willing buyers.
As for the sellers, well, they will always be a deep group as long as the market bears notable names. When the Indiana Pacers (league-best .792 winning percentage) are continuing to add pieces to their puzzle (Andrew Bynum), it's glaringly clear the quest to improve never ends.
What should these motivated buyers expect to find as they make their way through the rumor mill? At least these eight potential difference-makers to help strengthen their title hopes.