As the calendar moves closer to the Feb. 20 NBA trade deadline, a common theme is emerging behind the cloud of smoke screens.
This is a buyer's market, as long as those buyers are willing to spend.
ESPN Insider Chad Ford (subscription required) predicted this would be an "epic trade deadline." His reason behind the prediction? There's a crowded group of basketball bottom-feeders and franchise centerpiece prizes potentially awaiting the worst of the worst (via the overstocked 2014 draft class).
When it's good to be bad, it's smart to shed talent.
That's exactly what these five teams are prepared to do, darken an already gloomy present in pursuit of a brighter future. They're all loaded with trade bullets, although some pack heavier artillery than others.
If this deadline becomes more talk than action, a possibility sources told Sports Illustrated's Chris Mannix is growing stronger, it won't be for a lack of prominent trade pieces. There are players capable of shaping playoff pictures or even sparking championship conversations—and five tank-friendly teams all too eager to let them go.