- Chad Ford, ESPN Senior Writer
For the last seven years, I've spent every February day before the trade deadline with my cell phone surgically attached to my ear, listening for the hottest rumors.
Freed from that obligation this year, I've been able to take a step back and gain a different perspective on what's going on around the league.
Usually, I'm obsessed with what's going to happen. This year, I'm obsessed with what should happen.
Every year, some teams are so good, they aren't going to make any major changes to their team (though you may see minor deals like the Pistons picking up an extra backup point guard). And every year, there are teams that are so bad they're just hanging out, waiting for contracts to expire and the lottery balls to bounce their way.
But there are always 10 or so teams that are caught somewhere in the middle. To borrow from my main man, Bono, they're running to stand still. They aren't good enough to contend or bad enough to overhaul the roster.
Those teams need to change what they're doing. Now.
Here are five teams and 10 big trades that I believe should be made before the deadline. Most of the teams listed here won't pull the trigger. But they'll regret that decision after an early April exit, with only a middling lottery pick to give fans hope that things will be better next year.
2dSteve Ilardi and Jeremias Engelmann